Several opposition MPs have hailed Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah’s decision not to accede to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s request to declare a state of emergency.
The move has also found some praise from parties within Muhyiddin’s own government.
PKR’s Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim noted that by convention, the king has to act on the advice of the prime minister.
“However, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong courageously rejected the prime minister’s request for an emergency as the ruler understands that in Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, the prerogative to declare an emergency lies with the Agong.
“After consulting with the Malay rulers, he found that the conditions required to declare an emergency was not fulfilled. In other words, he was not satisfied.
“Based on the tradition and practice of parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, I am of the view that that the Agong’s rejection is a slap in the prime minister and Perikatan Nasional government’s face.
“The honourable thing to do now is for Muhyiddin to resign as prime minister,” he said in a statement today.
Very wise decision
Meanwhile, Umno vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin hailed the king’s decision which was made after consultation with other state rulers.
“The Agong and Malay rulers have made a very wise decision by not declaring a state of emergency as proposed by the government.
“They have truly considered the people’s interest,” he said in a statement.
The government had framed the proposed state of emergency as necessary to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, but critics see it as an attempt by Muhyiddin to cling on to power amid speculation that a group of rebel MPs from Umno may turn against him.
Khaled said the decision showed that the provisions in the Federal Constitution should not be invoked on a whim.
“The decision showed the Agong’s confidence in Malaysia’s healthcare system and the ability of Malaysians and civil servants to overcome this global health crisis,” he said.
Give special attention to Sabah
DAP’s Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang thanked the king for his decision.
‘The system of constitutional monarchy has proven that it is an important bulwark of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia,” he said.
Lim said all Malaysians, including MPs, should now unite to an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” war against the third wave of the Covid-19 epidemic in the country.
“The latest report, showing a reduction of 465 Covid-19 infections (today’s reported 823 cases as compared to 1,288 cases the previous day) should be an encouragement to frontliners and all Malaysians to redouble their efforts to flatten the curve of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia.
“Special attention must be given to Sabah as it is the epicentre of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“All MPs must be single-minded to ensure that we must save lives and livelihoods in this ‘once-in-a-century’ catastrophe of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
‘Ruler’s decision made with wisdom’
Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, who is the Kota Raja MP, also praised the rulers’ decision.
“Amanah is confident that the decision was made with wisdom, took into account the people’s interest and the country’s continued prosperity,” he said.
Mohamad, who is known as Mat Sabu, said his party is prepared to support all efforts to combat Covid-19 and promised to give its full cooperation.
Muhyiddin had on Friday met with the Agong to propose the emergency move.
The monarch subsequently convened a meeting with other rulers this afternoon to seek their consultation.
The king announced this evening that he won’t accede to Muhyiddin’s request but also criticised politicking among MPs who are trying to destabilise Muhyiddin’s government.
He discouraged the MPs from such efforts during the pandemic.
Budget needs full attention
Umno Youth deputy chief Shahril Hamdan, in a separate statement, also highlighted the monarch’s criticism of the ongoing politicking.
He emphasised on the rulers’ call for Budget 2021 to be passed so that frontliners fighting the pandemic can get the appropriate funding.
“I hope the politicians will give their full attention to this budget. Prioritise the people,” he said.