KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today described Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as “desperate” and “mediocre” for wanting to invoke Article 150 of the Federal Constitution to proclaim an emergency to address the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
“Before yesterday, nobody discussed Article 150 to be used to proclaim a state of emergency as a possible solution to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“How can there be justification for the imposition of a state of emergency in Sarawak, Melaka, Johor, Putrajaya, Terengganu, Kelantan, Pahang and Perlis which have all less than 100 Covid-19 active cases each?
“Has the government lost control of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kedah, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Negri Sembilan as to justify the proclamation of emergency under Article 150 of the Constitution for these states?” he asked.
Lim’s query comes after speculations yesterday over a possible state of emergency to be called by the prime minister to address the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
Media reports yesterday suggested that the meeting was to discuss several proposals on dealing with the upcoming Budget 2021 tabling next month while the country is grappling with a third wave of Covid-19 infections and challenges to the legitimacy of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government helmed by Muhyiddin.
One of the options was purportedly for the government to declare an “economic emergency”, to thwart the possibility of snap polls being forced and to provide more time for the ruling PN to battle Covid-19 without being distracted by political instability.
Lim, however, said what is urgently needed is to forge an “all-of-government” and “whole-of society” campaign against the third wave of the Covid-19 epidemic.
“Will the proclamation of emergency and the suspension of Parliament forge such an ‘all-of-government’ and ‘whole-of-society’ approach?
“I dare say the opposite is more likely, as the people can see that the very persons who had undermined such approaches are none other than the PN ministers and leaders themselves,” he said.
Lim also asked if the PN Cabinet presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the option of a proclamation of emergency without suspension of Parliament.
“Will Malaysia proclaim an emergency every time there is a new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic?
“Maybe, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong should ask the judiciary for its opinion as to whether Article 150 allows the proclamation of emergency and suspension of Parliament to enable the prime minister to resolve his political problems,” he added.