KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — The government should call for a so-called “health emergency” to contain Covid-19 instead for the state of Emergency last week, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has said today.
In a brief statement, the former Negri Sembilan mentri besar acknowledged that such a declaration may be needed to contain the pandemic, but not at the expense of the country’s Constitution and Parliament which he said are currently rendered dysfunctional.
“However, I believe it would be more appropriate for the government to instead declare a state of ‘health emergency’ while also introducing a specific ordinance for such a purpose,” said the politician known as Tok Mat.
“Only through reinforcement of the healthcare strategy can we improve our control over the pandemic. For example, by expediting the immunisation process and utilising the movement control order. To paralyse the Constitution, be it partially or fully, would never help our recovery from the pandemic.”
He also claimed that his party remains firm on restoring the country’s democracy and the democratic functions of the Federal Constitution.
“Malaysia is a successful democracy. In fact, Malaysia is the best example of a democratic country among all Muslim nations,” he added.
“Malaysia’s democracy must remain undefeated, be it by the pandemic or whatever challenges that may come forth to this country. It will also be a just country with its Constitution as the highest law and beacon.”
It is unsure how a “health emergency” would be like, as lawyers told Malay Mail that the Constitution does not provide for any other kind of emergency.
Earlier this week, Muhyiddin announced that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has agreed to proclaim an Emergency to last until August 1 to allow the federal government to contain the Covid-19 pandemic without political distractions.
Under the Emergency, Parliament and state legislative assemblies are suspended, and no elections can be held.
Earlier today, Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa was reported saying political instability was among the reasons that contributed towards the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government announcing the state of Emergency last week.
In an interview with Utusan Malaysia’s Sunday edition Mingguan Malaysia, the recently-ousted Barisan Nasional secretary-general said this was a large consideration on top of the worsening Covid-19 pandemic that is putting immense pressure on the country’s economic and social development.