A worrying development. Is the emergency motivated by politics or the pandemic?
This is the latest statement by Aliran on the declaration of a nationwide state of emergency:
Emergency smacks of Muhyiddin wanting desperately to cling on to power
In the space of 24 hours, Malaysians found themselves facing a second movement control order and a declaration of a nationwide emergency.
Aliran understands the need for a new movement control order to address the fast-increasing numbers affected.
But unlike the first time controls were imposed, no financial and other means of support have been proposed by the regime for the many industries that are still struggling to recover and for the many more Malaysians who have lost their jobs and are now suffering. How are people meant to survive?
The declaration of a state of emergency, previously attempted and thwarted, has taken many by surprise. The PM’s assertion that the spread of the pandemic is an emergency is questionable. It is a public health issue, but is it an emergency as defined in our laws? Some legal experts do not think so.
Aliran reiterates the question that members of the legal fraternity have raised: Where is the emergency?
Aliran would like to stress that the declaration of a state of emergency nationwide does not provide solutions for the desperate state of our economy and the hardship and struggles many Malaysians face.
Further, there is also grave concern about the fate of parliamentary democracy and the serious negative implications of the lack of checks and balances under emergency rule, ie the conferring of immense unchecked power on the PM.
Suspending Parliament, state assembly sittings and elections while everything else remains normal under this state of emergency smacks of Muhyiddin wanting desperately to hang on to power when it has become clear he has lost his wafer-thin majority in Parliament.
Aliran opposes the abuse of parliamentary democracy in this way. We call for the swift revocation of this emergency declaration, the reinstatement of parliamentary sittings and rule, and the return of power back to our representatives.
Aliran executive committee
13 January 2021