Former Umno law minister Zaid Ibrahim wants the independent committee on the state of emergency to explain if it has advised the Agong on the next step.
He said the committee must let it be known if it was doing the job it was set up to do
“Their responsibility is to advise His Majesty if the Emergency period should be shortened and not wait for its expiry on August 1,” Zaid said in a statement.
“This was clearly stated as part of their functions and responsibilities. Have they met on this issue, and if so, what is their advice to His Majesty?”
On February 9, the Prime Minister’s Office had announced that former Chief Justice Ariffin Zakaria would head a 18-member independent panel to advise the King on the exit strategy for emergency rule.
On January 12, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah declared a state of emergency to curb Covid-19 infections. The order is effective until August 1
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had said this would give the government more powers to fight the pandemic.
Zaid today said the federal constitution required the emergency order to be laid before the Dewan Rakyat and the Dewan Negara.
“This has not been done. A proper implementation of the Emergency, which the committee was set up to ensure; would require compliance with the laws of the land.
“What is the special committee’s advice to His Majesty on this point? The suffering rakyat want to know.”
Zaid said the government intended to enable the committee to independently advise the king if the government efforts in dealing with Covid 19 were satisfactorily and adequately carried out.
“On this point, the rakyat have spoken. They overwhelmingly believe that this government had failed in dealing with Covid-19.
“The supply of vaccines was inadequate, the vaccines’ approval was late, the vaccination process was slow, the people without smartphones do not know of MySejahtera.”
He said ill-advised, unworkable decisions with regard to the MCOs and SOPs had caused the failure to rein in the outbreak.
He said that the country was in crisis but the rakyat was helpless to do anything.
“If the elites in our country do not see the need to act decisively and do the right thing for the people. It is a matter of time before they too will suffer from their indifference and neglect. It’s only a matter of time.”
What the Agong did next hinged upon the committee’s advice, he said.
“His Majesty’s performance in this regard is not entirely personal to himself, for he represents the institution of the monarchy as a whole.
“There are other Malay Rulers who will be affected by whatever decision His Majesty makes.”
Zaid said it was a heavy burden on the Agong and it was important that the committee discharged its duties in a responsible and timely manner. – TMI