Don’t use Covid-19 as excuse for emergency after losing support – Harapan

Harapan leaders disagree with PM on rationale for emergency proclamation.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin should not hide behind Covid-19 and burden the rakyat with a nationwide emergency proclamation when he has lost majority support in the Dewan Rakyat, said Pakatan Harapan.

In a joint statement, Harapan leaders opposed Muhyiddin’s rationale and reasons that emergency power was needed to save Malaysia from Covid-19.

“We are of the view that the existing law, including the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) announced yesterday, are adequate to gather all resources and strength to address the pandemic.

“For example, on the issue of taking over private hospitals to assist with Covid-19 cases, the private hospitals are indeed ready to help the government and emergency powers are not needed to secure their cooperation,” they said.

“We are of the view that Muhyiddin’s action to propose an emergency when he has lost the support of the majority of MPs, including from Machang and Padang Rengas, is not acceptable at all.

“Do not hide behind Covid-19 and burden the people with a declaration of emergency for the sake of saving yourself,” the Harapan leaders added.

The joint statement was signed by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu after a Harapan presidential council meeting today.

Umno’s Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub and Padang Rengas MP Nazri Abdul Aziz have withdrawn their support for Muhyiddin and the Perikatan Nasional government, rendering the coalition as a minority government with 109 MPs out the 222 in Parliament including two vacancies that must be filled.

Under the nationwide emergency, the government has suspended Parliament and elections while the military is empowered to enforce existing laws. Muhyiddin also warned that stern action would be taken against anyone who attempted to “disrupt” the government’s Covid-19 fight as well as the economy during the emergency period.

The Harapan leaders also disagreed with Muhyiddin’s reason for postponing all elections during the emergency period.

“On the issue of elections, the presidential council looked at previous action during which an emergency was declared at a particular parliamentary and state constituency and this was sufficient.

“The Sarawak state election need not be held until August 2021 while the 15th general election needs to be conducted only by 2023. As such, the reason given by Muhyiddin cannot be accepted at all,” the three leaders said.

They said the suspension of Parliament and the state legislative assemblies could impact the check-and-balance role played by the legislative branch.

“The emergency powers have somehow given absolute power to the prime minister to do almost everything arbitrarily,” they said.

The Harapan leaders also raised concern that the emergency would not help in reviving the economy and boost the confidence of the investors, nor would it address the unemployment issue.

MALAYSIAKINI

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