Patriot: Emergency Proposal Absurd, Ill-conceived, Insincere

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Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Cabinet’s proposal to invoke an emergency rule purportedly due to the spike in Covid-19 infection and citing the reason that people do not want an election, has been described as absurd, ill-conceived and insincere.

When news broke out on a proposal by the Cabinet to place the nation under emergency, it caused an unprecedented public outcry, the National Patriot Association (Patriot) said today.

“There were incessant calls by citizens of all levels of society to denounce the proposal, as the word emergency conjures a sense of uncertainty, fear and insecurity that is likely to affect the daily lives of citizens,” its president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said in a statement today.

“Several of our learned legal minds have given comprehensive views against invoking the emergency rule, as well as numerous NGOs voicing disagreement. Patriot stands with them.”

It is a forgone conclusion if an emergency is imposed is that our already struggling economy will go into a tailspin spiralling to a crash, he said.

“Business and economic indicators will be flashing red – more bankruptcies, unemployment, retrenchment, foreclosure, loans default, higher private debt, stock market crash, and downgrading of our economy by rating agencies.

“Besides, there will be worsening social ills like more thefts, burglaries, and increased financial and emotional constraint faced by families. Families relying on handouts will get worse face more hardship.

“Merely to attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus infection by imposing emergency rule and justifying it by saying the people are against having elections; how moronic,” Mohamed Arshad added.

He said there are much better ways to combat the current spike in the infection, such as specific locality lockdown or partial lockdown.

“Implementing mitigation strategy had at time haphazard and showed dual standard, causing distrust towards politicians. Most Malaysians is law abiding and conform to regulations imposed.

“Combatting the scourge of this epidemic requires total involvement and support from all parties, creeds and colours. We have capable and intelligent people from without those in the ruling circle. The government leadership must work hard on its trust deficit and reach out with a sincere hand.

“Furthermore, what good can the National Security Council led by the prime minister himself offer in an emergency rule when the actual problem lies in the motive and sincerity of the government leadership in calling for an emergency rule?” he added.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) urged the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to reaccess its proposal.

It said the government should instead uphold their duty and responsibility to respect the rule of law and protect the fundamental liberties of the people as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

“The proposed Proclamation of an Emergency under the pretext of containing Covid-19 is unconstitutional and simply unjustifiable especially since the public have largely complied with the movement control orders and the standard operating procedures (SOPs) implemented by the government,“ it said in a statement yesterday.

“The current measures undertaken by the Government to prevent infections in the country and strict adherence to the SOPs by everyone would be sufficient to contain the pandemic.

“As stated in the National Palace’s media statement today, Suhakam notes that the Yang di- Pertuan Agong will consult the Malay Rulers soon to discuss the proposed Proclamation of Emergency raised by the Prime Minister.

Echoing to Suhakam’s statement was CSO Platform for Reform where a joint statement of 76 organisations which include Pusat KOMAS, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Bersih 2.0, Aliran, MTUC Sarawak & Sarawak Bank Employees’ Union, PROHAM, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), G25, and Association of Women Lawyers are equally concerned with the news of a possible emergency declaration.

It said Malaysians were not deluded by the suggestion that a state of emergency was required to combat the pandemic.

“Malaysians from all walks of life have sacrificed to carry Malaysia where she is today. Front liners have sacrificed to keep Covid-19 at bay. PN cannot be allowed to wilfully undermine all that we have sacrificed for,” it said.

“A democratic Malaysia governed by the rule of law is what we fought for and must be what remains regardless of the political disagreement Malaysians may have with one another.” – The Sun Daily