The proclamation itself did not follow the rule of law as the govt ordinance to declare emergency must be heard before the Parliament
by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by BERNAMA
FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said the proclamation of emergency is not valid as Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s top executive post was already nullified when he advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah to announce the ruling.
Dr Mahathir said in a statement yesterday that the proclamation itself did not follow the rule of law as the government ordinance to proclaim the emergency must be heard before the Parliament.
“However, this term was ignored,” Dr Mahathir, who is also the Langkawi MP, said.
It was reported that Muhyiddin was about to lose his majority in the Dewan Rakyat when he sought the emergency declaration from the King as several Umno lawmakers withdrew their support from Muhyiddin, leaving the Pagoh MP with less than 111 simple majority in Parliament.
Dr Mahathir said Muhyiddin had abused his power when he asked for the emergency ruling and remain in position along with his Cabinet members, while “hiding behind the name of the King” to justify their acts.
He added that while all existing laws can be used to curb the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic downturn, the emergency was merely invoked to secure the position of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
On Jan 12, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong proclaimed a national state of emergency that was meant to allow the government to focus on fighting Covid-19, upon Muhyiddin’s advice.
Parliament sittings have since been suspended and the emergency declaration also enabled the government to utilise private health services to assist in treating Covid-19 patients.
The controversial declaration is expected to continue until Aug 1. It could, however, be lifted earlier according to the advice of a Special Independent Emergency Committee (SIEC), which will determine if the pandemic is under control.
In his previous addresses, Muhyiddin indicated that he had advised the King to dissolve the Parliament to make way for snap polls which would put an end to the current political debacle and instability.
Parti Pejuang Tanah Air pro tem president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said there is no need to rush for a snap election as the pandemic is not showing any signs of slowing down.
Mukhriz said the next general election can be held even after the 14th Parliament term ends in 2023 instead, when the Covid-19 outbreak is under control.
He said Muhyiddin should take the impact of Sabah state election held last September into account, especially when it was named as the cause of the nation’s third wave of the coronavirus spread.
Mukhriz, who is also Jerlun lawmaker, said any change and decision should now be decided in the Parliament.
“We should not expose the people to the risk of being infected by Covid-19,” he said in a virtual press conference yesterday.
Mukhriz also queried the functions and authorities of the 19-member elected SIEC that was introduced recently.
He said despite having three Opposition lawmakers in the committee, there is still scepticism if they would pander towards the government’s agenda and end the emergency that could make way to dissolution of the Parliament.
“We want to know if this committee needs a unanimous decision to advise the King, or only a simple majority which would be insignificant for the members of the Opposition in the committee. We do not want to trigger snap polls during this time,” said Mukhriz.
Read our previous report here