Tok Mat: Health emergency preferred over curbing democratic institutions

·2-min read
Tok Mat: Health emergency preferred over curbing democratic institutions
Tok Mat: Health emergency preferred over curbing democratic institutions

Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan is the latest to question the declaration of emergency, saying that he would prefer a more limited "health emergency" instead.

The Rantau assemblyperson called on the government to consider a specific ordinance for a special health emergency as a suspension of the Constitution and Parliament is not the answer in the fight against Covid-19.

"Malaysia is in an unprecedented position with the worsening pandemic and declining economy, and the country is now in a state of emergency where its Constitution and Parliament are now rendered dysfunctional.

"We acknowledge that the government’s decision in declaring a state of emergency is made with the intention of controlling the outbreak.

"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 popularly known as Tok Mat.

"To paralyse the Constitution, be it partially or fully, would never help our recovery from the pandemic," he added.

Many opposition politicians have asked about the need for a broad-based emergency that was declared last Monday by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

While not questioning the king's prerogative to declare an emergency, they are arguing that the movement control orders are sufficient and that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is taking advantage of the situation to prevent a sitting of Parliament and the holding of general elections, particularly as he has just lost majority support.

"Umno is fully supportive of the government’s effort in combating the outbreak, a stance that we would never compromise.

"However, Umno is also firm on restoring democracy and the democratic functions of our Constitution.

"Malaysia is a successful democracy. In fact, Malaysia is the best example of a democratic country among all Muslim nations," he said.

He urged that the country's democracy must remain undefeated, be it by the pandemic or whatever challenges that may come forth.

"It will also be a just country with its Constitution as the highest law and beacon," he added.