Declaration of emergency not due to politics, says Muhyiddin


PRIME Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has stressed that the declaration of emergency in the country was an appropriate move taken in response to a major health crisis and not due to politics.

The PM said the emergency was not to enable him to hold on to the post but to ensure that the Covid-19 pandemic could be managed effectively and speedily.

He gave an assurance that the emergency would be lifted earlier than its scheduled end of Aug 1, if the pandemic could be contained and the country were deemed safe from the virus.

“…if we can settle it early (and) the Independent Special Committee that was set up says it can be done (lifted), I will just follow…We also do not want to be restricted by such a regulation forever,” said Muhyiddin in a special interview with Bernama and several media at his residence in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, in conjunction with his first anniversary as PM.

The interview was aired on Buletin Bernama via Bernama TV at 8pm yesterday.

He said via the Emergency Ordinance, the government can propose amendments to certain acts or enact new regulations in the form of ordinance without having to go through Parliament which would take a long time.

“So, I would like to say that this does not mean the emergency is to enable me to hold the PM’s post for a long time. I also do not know which party now has more seats than me; previously there was an attempt to show (the numbers), but it was not proven.

“I am confident that I have big support. I am convinced that my position is constitutionally right. Legal. I cannot sit as an illegitimate PM. That’s because I do my work properly. So, I’m not worried about that.

“But the declaration of emergency was not a question of politics. Some politicians view it as political, (but) no. Politics should not be used for emergencies, but this Covid-19 requires (declaration of) an emergency…So, I hope the people understand; it was not due to the fear of not getting a majority in Parliament.”.

The PM said the 15th general election would be held at a suitable time because the priority now is to overcome Covid-19 threat, which has infected over 300,000 people and claimed more than 1,000 lives in the country.

“The important thing is we settle this (Covid-19) first. When we are done with it, I don’t want to wait even a day (to hold elections)…we are not worried at all.”

The first Covid-19 case was reported in Malaysia on Jan 25 last year, with the first wave involving imported cases, while the second wave struck at the end of February.

There was a spike in Covid-19 cases during the third wave, which occurred in September last year after the Sabah state election.

After the daily positive cases surged from double digits to thousands, the PM advised the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare an emergency. On Jan 12, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah declared the Proclamation of Emergency, which will be in force until Aug 1.

The emergency is a proactive measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 and will be lifted earlier if new cases could be effectively controlled and reduced.

Al-Sultan Abdullah also consented to the government’s proposal to set up the Independent Special Committee to advise him accordingly if the emergency can be ended earlier. The committee comprises government and Opposition MPs, and health experts. Meanwhile, he said foreign investors, including Fortune 500 companies, have continued to show interest in investing in Malaysia due to various incentives offered by the government.

“We offer special incentives. This is our way to attract investors. So, for me, it is important that we increase investment. If you come to Malaysia, you will get very attractive incentives.

“This is what I think is our way to attract investors. So, it is important that we increase investment, but set our eyes on (certain) sectors such as high technology and digital,” he said. — Bernama