JUNE 16 — Targeted moratorium, argues Abdul Farid Alias, is the best solution for the country.
First World economy, writes Jamari Mokhtar, shuns blanket moratorium.
Now, is targeted Emergency the best solution as well? Should the country shun a blanket Emergency?
Make no mistake that the Covid-19 pandemic is a state of affairs that is of Emergency proportions. But, it is submitted it would be more appropriate for the government to declare a “public health emergency” while also introducing specific legislation for such purpose.
Even the prime minister’s principal private secretary Datuk Dr Marzuki Mohamad concedes that the state of Emergency in the country is a public health emergency. It does not warrant a National Operations Council-like body to “to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and bring the country out of the current health and economic crisis.”
One may also argue that it does not warrant a “blanket” Emergency — a “legislative model” emergency suffices.
Common law countries like the United Kingdom and its former colonies, namely New Zealand, Australia and Singapore — all First World economies — have shown that the legislative model does work, and have worked, in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
Perhaps one may call such an Emergency a targeted Emergency. It has been done before — trice last year. The first is the proclamation “that a grave emergency exists and that this Proclamation shall extend throughout the Parliamentary Constituency of P.185 Batu Sapi, Sabah.” [PU(A) 29/2020]
The second is the proclamation “that a grave emergency exists and that this Proclamation shall extend throughout the Parliamentary Constituency of P.054 Gerik, Perak.” [PU(A) 356/2020].
The third proclamation similarly extends throughout the State Constituency of N.66 Bugaya, Sabah. [PU(A) 358/2020]
Like targeted moratorium, targeted Emergency should be the way to go. First World economy too shuns blanket Emergency.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.