King’s decision lauded

FMM, Bar Council and Bersih among quarters voicing support for focus on economy, public health

27 Oct 2020 / 08:40 H.

PETALING JAYA: The decision of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (pix) not to declare a state of emergency in the country has been lauded by various sectors, that believe he used his power wisely.

It is understood that the King used his rights under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution when deciding against a proposal by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to call for a state of emergency to battle the Covid-19 crisis.

President of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai, supported the King’s decision, saying there is no reason to use the emergency rule.

“We are in favour of the King’s decision, as it is the right call for business and economic growth. The (manufacturing) industry feels positive towards that,” he told theSun yesterday.

“We believe the government has all the measures in place in accordance with (the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988),” he added.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association Malaysia secretary Yeoh Seng Hooi seconded the decision against calling for a state of emergency.

“Any sort of emergency is not good for the business sector, as it will affect the movement of goods and services. Businesses do not want uncertainty, they rather have a situation where the political scene is stable,” he said.

Yeoh also does not expect the decision to have any impact when Budget 2021 is tabled on Nov 6.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Bar was also in favour of the King’s decision.

Its president Salim Bashir said that such proclamation of an emergency would have resulted in a constitutional crisis.

“What the nation now needs is to focus on the health and welfare of the rakyat, especially those serving on the frontlines in this pandemic. Sufficient support must be provided to doctors, nurses and all those involved in the fight against the invisible enemy,” he said.

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (Bersih 2.0) said most Malaysians would agree that a declaration of emergency was not necessary in the battle against Covid-19.

However, the political crisis the country is facing now has not been resolved yet, it said in an immediate reaction to Sunday’s announcement that there would not be an emergency.

The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs said Malaysia’s democratic institution should always be upheld, and any attempt to usurp parliamentary democracy must be avoided.

Its chief executive officer Tricia Yeoh said MPs from both sides of the political divide should now put aside their differences and make the health and wellbeing of all Malaysians their priority.

“To make this happen, a compromise must be struck between government and opposition MPs in order for Budget 2021 to be passed on Nov 6. This will undoubtedly involve some form of deal-making,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Yeoh also stressed that any negotiations towards achieving this compromise “must first and foremost be transparent”.

“The people deserve to know the intentions of their elected representatives. Secondly, these negotiations must be policy-oriented in nature, and not involve the promise of patronage-oriented distribution of positions or other lucrative arrangements.

“Thirdly, they must not involve any compromise on the criminal charges currently faced by some MPs,” she added.

She also stressed that the Covid-19 crisis meant that all MPs and government officials must remain focused on the health and economic recovery of the nation.

“This warrants political and institutional stability, which requires a setting aside of differences until the situation eases,” Yeoh added.

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