Anwar says pleaded with Agong to resist extending Emergency past August

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters outside Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur June 9, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters outside Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur June 9, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said his plea for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong not to extend the current Emergency beyond August 1 was among the main topics during their meeting today.

After his audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, Anwar told reporters while leaving Istana Negara that he was grateful to have met the monarch who he said was attuned to the country’s current situation.

Anwar said he informed the Agong of his views on the country’s current state, and that he made a case against extending the Emergency on grounds that steps needed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic did not require emergency powers.

“I gave my view that continuing the Emergency will cause losses to the country, and the current situation with Covid-19 will adversely affect the economy especially to the commoners, and how I see that all the steps that can be implemented do not need for an Emergency to be in place.

“So I pleaded to His Majesty to restrict the extension (of the Emergency) as much as possible, to which His Majesty was accurate in saying that we must adhere to the laws of the constitutional monarchy and follow the advice of the prime minister,” he said.

When asked if they discussed the topic of a change in government, Anwar said the matter was not brought up today.

Anwar said the King is well-versed with the current Covid-19 situation and had gained multiple views from various agencies and health experts, including Universiti Malaya’s Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman who is a sitting member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Science Council.

The PKR president said other matters discussed included ways to hold Parliament sittings during the ongoing Emergency.

“I elaborated to His Majesty on these matters because of the differing perceptions by some, as though it was not carried out,” he said.

The Port Dickson MP said issues and concerns from the people over the current economic situation and those of foreign and local investors were also discussed with the King.  

Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan colleagues including DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu were also seen entering the palace separately for an audience with Sultan Abdullah.

More heads of political parties are expected to visit the palace tomorrow for an audience with the King. The presidents of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties are expected next week.

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