KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today accused Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s government of resorting to undemocratic means to stay in power following reports that the administration was seeking to declare a state of emergency during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Anwar said the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, knowing it would fail to demonstrate majority support in Parliament, is using the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to justify its abuse of power.
He noted that a state of emergency was only declared when there is a threat to national security, adding that a proclamation under such circumstances is nothing more than the descent into dictatorship and authoritarianism when the government is itself the source of that threat.
“By seeking emergency powers the illegitimate PN government reveals its sheer incompetence in handling Covid-19 health and economic crisis.
“While the rest of Asia is looking for ways to manage the virus and reopen their economies safely, Malaysia is heading in the opposite direction.
“We have yet to see a solid strategy to handle the crisis and on the back of growing criticism, the government thinks a receding democratic power is the best strategy,” he said in a statement here.
Instead of seeking to implement emergency measures to curb the parliamentary process, Anwar said what the country needed was transparency, accountability and firm action by the various ministries in overcoming the crisis.
“The government has failed to provide strong leadership in handling this crisis and is instead resorting to undemocratic means to stay in power,” he added.
He also strongly advised Muhyiddin to reconsider the legacy of such actions taken out of self-interest and selfishness.
Speculation had been rife since early this morning that the PN government is seeking declare a so-called state of “partial emergency” as Malaysia struggles to contain the daily spike in Covid-19 infections that has also hurt the economy.
Muhyiddin had earlier arrived at Istana Abdulaziz in Kuantan, Pahang for an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, understood to be conferred special emergency powers to handle the outbreak.
This comes amid a move by PKR president Anwar to show to the Agong that he commands the majority in the Dewan Rakyat, a move that has been stalled with Istana Negara refusing any audience due to the Covid-19.
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