KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — The Malaysian Bar today said it agreed with the decision of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers that a state of emergency is not needed seeing as authorities already have enough powers to manage the Covid-19 pandemic.
This comes as yesterday, the Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah declined Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s request for a state of emergency as a response to the pandemic.
“We echo the views of His Majesty and the Malay Rulers that there are already current laws and mechanisms that have wide-ranging and comprehensive powers to manage the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Bar president Salim Bashir in a statement today.
Salim said the move by the Agong was wise and had protected the interests of the rakyat.
“A proclamation of Emergency would likely have resulted in a constitutional crisis, and such a crisis must be avoided at all costs. We must always remember to uphold the pillars of democracy, which form the bedrock of this nation, in any given situation,” he said.
Salim also urged Malaysians, including politicians, to adhere to the rule of law, the Constitution and the King’s Royal Decree in order to maintain peace and stability, which should take precedence over political disputes.
He said the nation now needs to focus on the health and welfare of the public, especially those serving on the front lines of the pandemic.
“Sufficient support must be provided to doctors, nurses and all those involved in the fight against the invisible enemy,” he added.
Rumours emerged last Wednesday that Muhyiddin would seek to invoke “emergency powers” to deal with the pandemic.
On Friday, these rumours intensified when Muhyiddin met with the Agong at the latter’s palace in Pahang. This then led to a meeting of the Malay Rulers yesterday.
Meanwhile, many have speculated that Muhyiddin’s bid for emergency powers was politically motivated as his administration is currently under threat from Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Earlier this month, Anwar was granted an audience with the Agong, in which the Opposition leader claimed to have gained the support of over 120 members of Parliament in order to form a new government.