THE King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has consented to the proclamation of emergency until Aug 1 this year to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
"If this is the true underlying reason, the declaration of a national emergency is not only an overkill but an abuse of executive power that places the country at great peril", according to a joint statement by activist groups and nongovernmental organizations. "For example, regarding the issue of using private hospitals, they are ready to help the government when needed; hence, an Emergency is not needed to get their cooperation", the council said in the statement co-signed by PKR's Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah's Mohamad Sabu and DAP's Lim Guan Eng. Malaysia has been in political turmoil since March past year when Muhyiddin came to power without an election following Mahathir's resignation and the collapse of his reformist administration.
Muhyiddin also gave his commitment that elections would be held as soon as it was safe to do so.
Muhyiddin's politically divided ruling coalition has left him with a shaky hold on power.
Muhyiddin, in announcing the lockdown Monday, warned that the country's healthcare system was at "breaking point". The number of daily infections reached a record of over 3,000 last week. He said daily coronavirus cases, which have consistently breached 2,000 in recent weeks, could jump to 8,000 by the end of May if nothing is done.
Separately, Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin became the third Cabinet minister in days to test positive for the virus, his office said Tuesday.
On how the Emergency will affect Sarawak's coming state election, Dr Jayum pointed out that the answer is already given by the prime minister in his live address to the nation, in his explanation of the Emergency that has been assented to by His Majesty the King, with the knowledge of the Conference of Rulers. But, the monarch also has the power to decide if an emergency should be declared, based on threats to security, economy or public order. "A dark day for democracy".