Deputy minister claims ‘emergency’ is strictly to suspend Parliament

Sulok Tawie
·3-min read
Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Ali Biju is pictured in Parliament August 12, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Ali Biju is pictured in Parliament August 12, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUCHING, Oct 25 — Saratok Member of Parliament Ali Biju today said he was made to understand that the “emergency powers” Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was allegedly seeking did not entail military rule, curfews or any restrictions on economic activities.

He claimed this meant Malaysians would not be burdened at all and it will be business as usual for the shopkeepers and captains of industries.

“Only Parliament would be suspended, political activities limited, and wannabe superheroes cannot get to spook anyone with their strong, convincing, and formidable superpowers,” he said a statement to respond to former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’s views against the declaration of an emergency.

Ali, who is also the deputy minister of energy and green technology, stressed that the people and economy will not face any problem due to the declaration of emergency.

“My engineering logic tells me that disagreeing with an emergency means agreeing to the election during a raging pandemic,” Ali, who is an engineer by profession, said.

He called for less politicking, but instead more work on stabilising the government, fighting Covid-19 and restoring the economy.

He added the entire nation is now gripped by rumours of an impending announcement of an Emergency Order, although none of the details have been made known to the public.

He said it is alarming to read the statements issued by the Opposition and those supporting their agenda to destabilise the government.

“I am not a lawyer. I am an engineer. My training in engineering has taught me how various parts of a device must work perfectly in harmony in order for the device to operate successfully.

“So when I read the statement issued by the venerable constitutional lawyer Tommy Thomas yesterday calling an Emergency Order declared now unconstitutional, it made me scratch my head.

“Far be it for me to comment on legal matters or even dispute Thomas, but as an engineer who sees how every part of a device needs to work in tandem with the other parts in order to operate, perhaps I may apply my engineering skills and know-how to the matter at hand,” he said.

He said Article 150, cited by Thomas, is a part of the Constitution, and like a small keg in a big machine, it makes up the entire device and ensures that the device works.

“So if Article 150 is part and parcel of the Constitution, then it is very much a creature of the Constitution and to argue that to declare an emergency is unconstitutional which the Constitution has already provided for just does not make sense to the layman, especially an engineer,” he said.

Ali said Malaysians can all agree that what the country needs now is a strong plan to keep everyone safe and healthy, and an economic driven strategy to keep the local industries and businesses running smoothly.

“The last thing we need is to spook our foreign investors with political uncertainties. And for the government to continue to drive the fight against this pandemic and for economic recovery to continue uninterrupted, we need a stable political landscape,” he said.

Prevailing rumours emerged on Wednesday that Muhyiddin would seek to invoke “emergency powers” to prop up his administration that was under challenge from Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

These rumours accelerated after Muhyddin rushed to meet the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the Pahang palace on Friday, which led to a meeting of the Conference of Malay Rulers today.

The plan has met with resistance from politicians both past and present, civil society groups, professional associations, and members of the public.

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