Launch of petition to end emergency

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A petition to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to end the emergency has been launched today by a group of opposition figures and activists.

Spokesperson Khalid Samad, who is also the Shah Alam MP, said the public can sign the petition online and the petition will be submitted to the Agong before Ramadan.

“We feel the Agong must be informed of the objections towards the emergency which was sought by the prime minister,” said Khalid.

Ramieza Wahid/Malaysiakini

The ad hoc committee, known as the Committee to End Emergency, includes opposition MPs from Parti Pejuang Tanahair, Amanah, Warisan, DAP, PKR, and the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda).

Ramieza Wahid/Malaysiakini

Other committee members include activists and lawyers.

“So far, no (government MPs) are involved. We are open to them joining us.

“If you love the country and believe that there is no need for emergency, we welcome you,” he said.

The emergency took effect on Jan 12. There is no scheduled expiry date although Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has on several occasions cited that Aug 1 was likely.

So far, emergency powers have been used primarily to prevent elections and suspend Parliament.

It was also used to increase the scheduled fine in the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 from RM1,000 to RM10,000.

A new emergency ordinance was also in force today which curbs “fake news” related to Covid-19 and the emergency itself.

Any new law or amendment to existing laws, introduced by means of an emergency ordinance, cannot be challenged in any court.

Although Muhyiddin claimed the primary purpose of the emergency was to curb the spread of Covid-19, critics have argued that it was used for other purposes. – Malaysiakini