KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 12 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition has rejected Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s reasons for calling a state of Emergency, claiming it was first and foremost a move to consolidate power.
In a joint statement, the PH presidential council accused Muhyiddin of using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to push ahead with an Emergency declaration when yesterday’s announcement of a movement control order (MCO) was sufficient.
“The presidential council rejects Prime Minister Muhyiddin’s rationale that an Emergency is needed to save Malaysia from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Existing laws including the MCO announced yesterday would have sufficed. For example, regarding the issue of using private hospitals, they are ready to help the government when needed; hence, an Emergency is not needed to get their cooperation,” the council said in the statement co-signed by PKR’s Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu and DAP’s Lim Guan Eng.
The council also suggested that there was no reason to call an Emergency so as to avoid an election.
The Sarawak state elections can be held by August 2021 while the general elections aren’t due until 2023.
The council insisted that calling an Emergency would have sufficed for a specific parliamentary constituency or state assembly seat as was done before, alluding to the Grik and Batu Sapi by-elections which were postponed due to Covid-19.
“In fact, we feel the suspension of Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies while the judiciary can continue is an obstruction of democracy and dismisses the voice of the people.
“This Emergency gives absolute power to the prime minister to do whatever he pleases and the presidential council is worried that it will hinder the economy,” the statement read.
“As such, we feel Muhyiddin’s decision to call this Emergency when he has lost the majority support of parliamentarians, including Machang and Padang Rengas, means it is unacceptable.
“Do not hide behind Covid-19 by burdening the people just to save yourself.”
Datuk Mohamed Nazri Aziz and Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub are the MPs for the Padang Rengas and Machang constituencies respectively.
In recent days, both Umno leaders have revoked their support for Muhyiddin Yassin, which means he no longer commands majority support in Parliament.