With talks of the Malaysian government pushing for calling for a state of emergency amidst the rising Covid-19 infection numbers and political instability, many quarters have questioned the decision as being overkill and unnecessary. This was because the current law in place which allowed for the National Security Council to convene and impose the Movement Control Order is arguably enough to govern the containment of Covid-19.
However, there are other valid reasons for emergency powers to be invoked given the current situation. Federal Territories Minister, Tan Sri Annuar Musa took to Twitter to explain just that yesterday. Here’s the tweet in question:
Pls advise which law to use when Bt Sapi voters want govt to postpone by election.Which law to use when Sarawakian want their PRN to be postponed for fear of what happened to Sabah.And which law to use when 87% of voters indicated they dont want GE for fear of COVID-19 outbreak https://t.co/9e26gdvPVf
— Annuar Musa (@AnnuarMusa) October 23, 2020
The Ketereh Member of Parliament responded to suggestions that existing laws are more than enough to deal with the pandemic and its adverse impact. According to Annuar, existing law maybe sufficient for Covid-19 containment in general, but specific cases that are Covid-19 related could not be dealth with unless emergency powers are granted to the government.
He gave the example of the upcoming Batu Sapi Parliamentary by-election which will be held on December 5. Given the alarming increase of Covid-19 cases post-Sabah election, many has called for the by-election to be postponed. However, there are no provisions in our current law to allow for postponement of the by-election, unless Malaysia entered into a state of emergency. As the way it is now, the Election Commission must hold the Batu Sapi by-election on the set date.
Furthermore, Annuar Musa also referenced the Sarawak State Election that must be held before June 2021. Previously, Sarawak Chief Minister said that the election will still go on and chances of it being held this year is 50:50.
The political instability with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin only holding a meagre majority in the Dewan Rakyat could also potentially lead to Parliament dissolution and General Election 15.
Talks of a no confidence motion has been rife recently and the Dewan Rakyat is set to reconvene next month. Even if the motion were never debated, any other motion that requires motion which the Perikatan Nasional’s government could not get majority vote will automatically means that Muhyiddin has lost majority. As such, the PM may request for Parliament to dissolve and GE15 will happen.
Given the scenario that may lead to a General Election, Annuar Musa referenced a recent pole which found that 87% of voters don’t want a nationwide election to happen for fear of Covid-19. Hence, to avoid these scenarios, the UMNO leader argues that the government must be given emergency powers.
What do you guys think of Annuar Musa’s arguments? Do you agree with him? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
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