Muslim group says will countersue if Anwar goes ahead with legal challenge against Emergency declaration

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
·2-min read
Gerakan Pembela Ummah chairman Mohd Zai Mustafa speaks during a press conference in Shah Alam September 24, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Gerakan Pembela Ummah chairman Mohd Zai Mustafa speaks during a press conference in Shah Alam September 24, 2020. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah), a coalition of 500 Muslim groups, today said it will intervene to block Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawsuit if the Opposition leader takes the government to court over the nationwide proclamation of Emergency.

Ummah chairman Mohd Zai Mustafa said Anwar’s actions were akin to questioning the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s wisdom, noting that the King made the proclamation only after consultation with the ruling government and senior officials.

“The actions of Anwar also paints him as someone who is just power crazy and practises politics without limits to the point he is willing to gamble with the fate of the people and national security,” Mohd Zai said in a statement on the group’s Facebook page.

“He should actually be getting behind the government to encourage the spirit or patriotism among the rakyat and call for national unity to be strengthened to face the huge challenges the country is facing right now, just as the Agong had previously advised during the opening of previous Parliament,” he added.

Mohd Zai said that Ummah will then be prepared with their own legal team to face and challenge the appeal that will be filed by Anwar’s team.

This he said, would all be done for the sake of defending the powers of the Agong as provided and stated within the Federal Constitution.

“Ummah will on our end also prepare a team of legal experts ready to challenge and appeal against such actions,” he added.

Anwar had criticised the Perikatan Nasional government for reversing its own policies and causing widespread confusion in handling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Accusing it of poor leadership and inciting panic by being unclear in its messages, Anwar announced his intention to challenge Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the government for forcing a state of Emergency on the country.

The Port Dickson MP said the decision to resort to a declaration of an Emergency was a reckless and desperate move by the administration, one devoid of a rational basis.

The state of Emergency was declared by Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on January 12, and will last until August 1, or until Covid-19 cases return to a manageable point.

The King’s announcement came a day after Muhyiddin had announced the re-implementation of the movement control order in six states for at least 14-days beginning January 13, after thousands of new Covid-19 infections were being detected nationwide.

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