ALOR SETAR, March 14 — The committee for ending the Emergency Declaration set up by the Opposition has no legal power to end its implementation, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.

He said only the Independent Special Committee on Emergency 2021, set up under Section 2 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, had the power in accordance with legal provisions to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah whether the emergency can be ended earlier or on the stipulated date of August 1 or be extended.

“Opposition Parliament member should use their representatives (in the Independent Special Committee on Emergency 2021 to state their views), they have representatives from PKR, DAP, Amanah.

“So use these representatives because we give them the opportunity to show that this government is transparent,” he told reporters after attending the Malaysia Prihatin Programme today.

He was commenting on the setting up of an independent body known as the committee for ending the Emergency Declaration chaired by Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad, who launched a petition to apply for the emergency to be ended immediately.

Meanwhile, Takiyuddin explained that the Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2) Ordinance 2021, which was gazetted on Friday, allowed immediate enforcement action to be taken to curb fake news on Covid-19 as well as the Proclamation of Emergency.

He said that without the ordinance, enforcement personnel would have to go through normal procedures, which can be time consuming when investigating cases on fake news under existing legal provisions.

“I have been informed by the Communications and Multimedia Minister (Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah) that even before this ordinance was gazetted, nearly 300 cases (of fake news) involving complaints lodged with the police and MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) had been made.

“Since the existing law requires a long procedure, the MCMC must check who is the (social media) account holder and such. So, sometimes it might take months, but under this ordinance, this can be expedited,” he said.

For example, he said, there is a handful of people with certain objectives, like what is being done by anti-vaxxers who spread fake and confusing news about the Covid-19 vaccine.

“The government has spent billions of ringgit to bring in the vaccines. These vaccines have also been approved by the WHO (World Health Organisation). What else do we need to rely on… the world health body has already confirmed that the vaccines are good and necessary.

“But still there are some who talk about side effects and such. These kind of things are an example of spreading fake news that will be dealt with under the ordinance,” he said. — Bernama