Klang MP Charles Santiago has blasted Senior Minister (Economy) Azmin Ali for making light of the opposition's fear that Malaysia might be descending into dictatorship should a state of emergency be declared.
“If you really scrutinise Azmin Ali’s words, you would think they were hastily scrambled together just to try and make an argument. Well, someone please tell him that he failed miserably," said Charles in a statement today.
“It’s not the federal opposition that has sowed ‘fear and resentment among the rakyat rather than joining the government's efforts to battle the pandemic’ - that credit goes solely to the government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin,” he added.
Not pulling his punches, Charles said it was Azmin's own regime that had caused panic and anger amongst the people by calling for an emergency, partial or otherwise.
“Not to mention that it’s totally unnecessary as we have managed the pandemic well until the recent spikes in cases, caused primarily by the flouting of the standard operating procedure (SOP) during the Sabah elections, just to make things easier for ruling politicians.
“Even then, these cases were quickly identified and isolated.
“And so, it didn’t take Malaysians five seconds to realise that the recent plan to call for an emergency is to ensure Muhyiddin and politicians such as Azmin can hold on to their jobs,” said Charles.
Charles, who has served as Klang MP since 2008 warned Azmin that if the emergency unfolds, Malaysians will end up kissing goodbye to the remnants of democracy that we have been hanging on to.
“It would centralise power even more than now. It would crash the stock market because the move would send a clear signal that Muhyiddin is weak and terrified of losing the top job. It would create huge uncertainty and paint the country as being politically unstable.
“And yes Azmin, this would all add up to a dictatorial government,” said Charles.
Yesterday, Azmin called on all right-minded citizens, including political leaders, regardless of partisan divides to pool resources and ensure that while public health is safeguarded, the economy remains vibrant and jobs are secured and that the people, particularly the wage earners and those in the informal sectors, can continue to have secure and steady incomes, protect their families and put food on the table.
Azmin, seen as a prime mover of the Sheraton Move which brought down the previous Pakatan Harapan administration, also lashed out at his former mentor Anwar Ibrahim, saying the latter chose to stir up instability and sow hatred when he claimed to the whole world that he had obtained “a convincing and formidable majority in Parliament”.
“This is clearly the work of a power-crazy individual driven by selfish and egotistical motives with a pathological sense of entitlement as if the post of prime minister is his birthright,” said Azmin.
Charles did not entertain Azmin’s argument, saying it was not the opposition who had rubbished the “sacrifices and selfless efforts of our frontliners who have toiled day and night” but rather Azmin, the prime minister and everyone else who is in on the emergency plan.
"It must be really difficult for Azmin now to think that Muhyiddin may be forced to throw in the towel.
"The once celebrated (former) Selangor Menteri Besar is not wanted by Umno and won’t be able to even flirt with the possibility of rejoining PKR," said Charles.
PKR's Shamsul Iskandar Amin also weighed in on Azmin's comments, saying that no matter what terms and names the PN government tries to put on their suggestion, the fact is that there is no emergency.
"On the other hand, the country is threatened by PN's inefficiency in governing the country, especially in the fight against the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"How can the people follow Azmin's call to unite behind such a weak government?
"The PN government has no legitimacy. The people and the majority of their representatives in Parliament do not have confidence in Muhyiddin and the entire cabinet,” said the Hang Tuah Jaya MP.
He also called on Muhyiddin to resign.
"An emergency by a government that does not have the support of the people is a dictatorial move to continue to hold on to power," Shamsul said.