Opposition appeal letter to king over emergency set for tomorrow

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PKR president Anwar Ibrahim will press ahead with legal challenges to the government’s emergency proclamation following his plea to all lawmakers to write to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah for the declaration to be rescinded.

The opposition leader mooted legal action against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for advising the king on the move.

“I have announced our intention to appeal to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to defend the Constitution and the rakyat from this egregious abuse of power.

Reuters

“Also, our legal team has been instructed to prepare the application to challenge the prime minister and the government on their baseless declaration of a state of emergency,” said Anwar in a statement today.

Malaysiakini understands that the proposed lawsuit is being based on the grounds that Muhyiddin allegedly “wrongly advised” the ruler regarding the emergency proclamation.

Malaysiakini also learned that Pakatan Harapan will send a joint-appeal letter to the Agong tomorrow after Anwar’s plea.

Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub confirmed the matter when contacted.

“We will sign the petition and it will be sent as soon as possible. It will be a joint appeal (by all Harapan MPs),” he said.

Asked when the letter would be sent, Salahuddin said, it is planned for tomorrow.

He stressed that it was a mutual decision by Harapan during their meeting last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, The Malaysian Insight reported that Pejuang deputy president Marzuki Yahya said the party will send their appeal to the Agong on Monday as well.

However, Warisan seems to be taking a different stance.

Its Labuan MP and party whip Rozman Isli told Malaysiakini that his party MPs will not write to the Agong individually.

“Our president (Shafie Apdal) has made a media statement with a lengthy elaboration on our party view (to call off) the declaration of emergency.

“Basically, that’s our party’s response,” he added.

Previously, Anwar wrote to all lawmakers urging them to send a letter to the Agong and plead for the emergency declaration to be rescinded and for Parliament to be convened as soon as possible.

In his memo, the Port Dickson MP called on them to write in by Friday so that Parliament could be convened before Jan 31.

Shafie, meanwhile, suggested that the emergency was not a suitable option to address the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country because the movement control order (MCO) was available and feasible.

“A state of emergency which can lead to abuse of power is not necessary and not suitable, as the current situation does not warrant it.

Reuters

“The reasons that trigger an emergency are when there is an existence or potential grave and imminent threat/emergency to national security, national economic life and public order,” he said in a statement dated Jan 14.

An emergency was declared by the Agong on Monday and due to last until Aug 1, or earlier if Covid-19 cases are reduced.

Parliament, all state assemblies and elections have been suspended until the end of the emergency.

Muhyiddin said on Monday that the government needed the necessary powers to ensure that the pandemic can be curbed, but critics say that the MCO regulations should be enough and that he is using Covid-19 to protect his fragile hold on power. – Malaysiakini