At least 115 MPs reject emergency, claims Anwar

Warisan has also appealed to King over emergency proclamation

PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says up to 115 MPs are against the proclamation of the emergency and want parliamentary sittings to be held, adding that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is now discussing the issue.

“There are about 114 or 115 MPs who reject the PN’s government decision (to impose emergency),” he said.

“GPS is discussing the matter. I don’t know what the decision will be but we’ll wait,” he said during a Facebook live forum held by National Council of Professors today.

He said if GPS rejects the emergency, it will show that only about 90 are committed to the emergency.

Anwar Ibrahim said if Gabungan Parti Sarawak also throws in its lot with the opposition, fewer than 90 MPs will be left in support of the need for the emergency.

Eight Warisan MPs, including party president Shafie Apdal, have also written to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to revoke the emergency proclamation.

Shafie, who is Semporna MP, said they have appealed to the King to reconsider the proclamation, adding the movement control order (MCO) was sufficient to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

“If you look at other countries, they are only using measures like the MCO to contain the virus,” he told reporters after visiting villagers whose homes were damaged by high waves at Kampung Tanjung Aru Baru here today.

The former Sabah chief minister said although the Federal Constitution allowed for such a proclamation on grounds of national security, he believed the MCO was still the best measure to manage the pandemic in Malaysia.

The Port Dickson MP added the numbers were adequate and added that the opposition had requested the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to reconsider the need to continue with the emergency and allow Parliament to sit again.

“We have more than enough MPs supporting us but I can only take the next step after the number is verified, not before that.

“As far as I am concerned, the numbers are enough. But I must wait and see what the King decides before making the next move.”

Media reports had also previously claimed that many MPs had submitted an appeal letter to the King to end the state of emergency imposed on Jan 13 to fight Covid-19.

Anwar had earlier claimed the move by the prime minister was only to hold on to power, with Parliament suspended.

Anwar had said he hoped the King would exercise his wisdom to rescind the emergency declaration and call for Parliament to convene on Jan 31 to discuss the emergency declaration and Covid-19 pandemic.

‘GST can be imposed when economy improves’

Anwar was also asked on the goods and services tax (GST), which was abolished by the Pakatan Harapan coalition when it came to power following the 14th general election in 2018.

The GST, blamed by the opposition then for a hike in prices, was one of the main reasons attributed to Barisan Nasional’s defeat in GE14.

GST, Anwar said, was proposed when he was the finance minister in the 1990s.

“But I put it off even though it is a transparent tax system for all levels because the wages were still very low then,” he said.

It would also have had an adverse impact on rural folks, he added.

However, Anwar said GST could be reviewed but it should not be a burden on the poor. “It can be done when the economy and salaries improve.”

By : Minderjeet Kaur – FMT

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