KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — The recent Proclamation of Emergency is not politically motivated and has been implemented to better manage the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.
He said managing the COVID-19 situation in the country was far more important than playing political games.
“Some people claim that this emergency was done to avoid the General Election (GE). COVID-19 is an important life or death issue, while the GE is only an issue of winning or losing. (In fact) in Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s address (recently) he had made it clear that he intends to get a new mandate through the GE, but the COVID-19 situation (now) does not allow for it.
“In fact, (previously) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had also agreed to declare states of emergency in the Batu Sapi parliamentary constituency, Gerik parliamentary constituency and Bugaya state constituency to curb the spread of COVID-19,” he said as a guest on the the ‘Bicara Naratif’ programme broadcast on TV1, tonight.
Takiyuddin said the government made the decision to advise His Majesty to declare the emergency after taking into account the welfare and well-being of the general public
On Tuesday, Al-Sultan Abdullah consented to the Proclamation of Emergency nationwide as a proactive measure to curb the COVID-19 epidemic.
The emergency will be in force until Aug 1, 2021, or until an earlier date if the number of daily COVID-19 case figures can be effectively controlled and lowered.
Malaysia recorded 4,029 new COVID-19 cases today, the highest tally since the outbreak began last year.
Commenting further, Takiyuddin said Al-Sultan Abdullah had also sought the views of the Attorney-General, Chief of Defence Force, the Inspector-General of Police, the Health Director-General and the Election Commission chairman prior to giving his consent.
Takiyuddin also brushed aside claims by certain parties questioning the position of the Cabinet and the respective state government leaderships, saying that based on the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, their functions and duties remained the same.
He said Section 11 of the ordinance provided that the prime minister and Cabinet should continue to exercise Federal executive powers and be empowered to make subsidiary laws, while the menteri besar or chief ministers, as well as the respective state executive councils, could continue with their executive powers and make laws at the state level.
Meanwhile, touching on the formation of an Independent Committee during the emergency period, Takiyuddin said the government had identified some qualified figures to be a part of it if consented to by Al-Sultan Abdullah.
He said among those considered were former chief justices, inspectors-general of police, social activists and several health experts who could provide useful input and advice to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“The first thing touched on in the Emergency Ordinance is the establishment of this independent committee which is transparent. Even at the government level, we are ready and have a list of names to present to His Majesty.
“I have also written a letter to the Opposition leader in Parliament, asking for a list of three names to be part of the committee, but as of now, I have not received it,” he said.
Al-Sultan Abdullah had also consented to the government’s proposal over the formation of an Independent Committee comprising government and opposition MPs, as well as health experts and other related individuals.