KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) is appealing to politicians to put aside their differences and work together with a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement.
In a statement released today, Bersih 2.0 urged the Opposition to agree not to vote against the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government in votes of confidence or budgetary matters, while reserving the right to oppose other legislations.
“This would ensure the Covid-19 relief budget scheduled to be tabled next month will go through and preserve stability in Parliament,” said the Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0.
Bersih 2.0 stated that it was alarmed about rumours that a state of emergency would be declared to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic that has spiked sharply over the past one week after media outlets reported that it was decided in a special Cabinet meeting today.
“If the aim is to deal with the Covid-19 situation, such a move is overkill, unnecessary and sets a dangerous precedent for democracy in this country,” they said.
Bersih 2.0 added that if the purpose of the emergency is to combat Covid-19, a targeted or enhanced movement control order (MCO) would be sufficient.
“Act 342, otherwise known as the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, has sufficient provisions for measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 including the power to make regulations, control the movement of people and move armed forces, as we have seen thus far,” it said.
Bersih 2.0 said that a state of emergency would allow for the Agong-appointed government to make ordinances that will have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament.
“It shall continue in full force and effect as if it is an Act of Parliament until it is revoked or annulled and they cannot be challenged in the courts. It also gives the federal government power to overrule state governments.
Rumours have been flying since this morning that the PN government is seeking to declare a state of emergency as Malaysia struggles to contain the daily spike in Covid-19 infections.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had earlier arrived at Istana Abdulaziz in Kuantan, Pahang for an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, understood to be conferred special emergency powers to handle the outbreak.
This comes after PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s move to show to the Agong that he commands the majority in the Dewan Rakyat.