‘Administrative emergency’? Ahead of PM’s address, propaganda posters urge public to ‘not panic’

Zurairi Ar
·2-min read
The posters claimed that the state of Emergency was called to suspend the Parliament to avoid further politicking.
The posters claimed that the state of Emergency was called to suspend the Parliament to avoid further politicking.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — Several propaganda posters asking the public to “not panic” have started circulating on social media just minutes after it was reported that Yang di-Pertuan Agong has assented to a state of Emergency until August 1.

Ahead of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s hastily-announced special address to clarify matters at 11am, the posters, in Malay, have claimed that the state of Emergency will merely be a so-called “administrative emergency”, a concept that has no roots in the Federal Constitution.

The posters claimed that the Emergency was called to suspend the Parliament to avoid politicking, and so that no election can be held to prevent a similar aftermath to the Sabah state poll that led to the third wave of Covid-19 here.

It is uncertain who produced the posters. However, a reverse image search showed they were not online previously.

Several Malay Mail readers have also said they have seen the posters forwarded on their text messaging apps.

Last year, several lawyers polled by Malay Mail cast doubts over the feasibility of the rumoured so-called “partial emergency” dubbed either a political, economic or health emergency, following speculation yesterday that the government was seeking such powers.

The posters claimed that the state of Emergency will merely be a so-called 'administrative emergency'.
The posters claimed that the state of Emergency will merely be a so-called 'administrative emergency'.

Pointing to the Federal Constitution, the constitutional experts said the country’s supreme document only provides for one type of emergency that would either cover the whole country or any state in its Article 150.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has consented to a state of Emergency in the country until August 1, or until the current wave of Covid-19 subsides.

In a statement by Istana Negara, the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the decision was made after Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin called on the Agong yesterday.

An emergency committee will be formed consisting of government and Opposition MPs and relevant health experts to determine if the Emergency will be ended early.

The decree came just a day after Putrajaya announced a new movement control order affecting six states for two weeks starting tomorrow.

It also came amid calls by some in Umno pressuring the Perikatan Nasional government to call for a snap general election this year.

Back in October, Muhyiddin had then pleaded for a state of emergency be declared, but the Agong decided that there was no need for one.

The Agong had also then delivered a warning directed at politicians looking to unsettle the country’s administration.

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