Academics Tell Government: Reject Emergency, Show Statesmanship

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Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government, though unstable, must show its commitment to parliamentary democracy and reject calling for an emergency, 91 academics from public and private universities, as well as independent researchers, have said.

To proceed with the declaration would lead Malaysia down a slippery slope of authoritarian government and dictatorship, they said in a joint statement, urging politicians to resolve the political crisis through negotiations instead.

“It needs no reminder that emergency rule amounts to a monopoly of power by the executive without the necessary checks and balances by the judiciary and the legislature.

“This only serves to compromise good governance and undermine the rule of law and accountability,” the statement said.

“This suspension of, and disregard for, democratic institutions, if not taken seriously, will lead us down the slippery slope of authoritarian government and dictatorial rule, a familiar development in the last century.

“This in turn will harm our international standing, financial reputation, investment climate and governmental credibility, the price of which all of us, the rakyat and the country, will have to pay.

“Sit down and negotiate, no emergency, please,” they said.

The academics said the country is “nowhere near such a situation” of grave emergency to the security, economic life or public order of Malaysia or any part of it, which are the conditions stipulated for an emergency to be declared in the federal constitution.

The Covid-19 pandemic, though a major health crisis, can be managed with available legal and medical options, as it was during the second wave, they said.

Nazir Sufari/TMI

The political crisis, where Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) government only has a two-MP majority in Parliament and is at risk of failing a test of confidence with the tabling of the Budget in the coming sitting, can be resolved through negotiations, they added.

“We urge the PN government and all other MPs to let cool heads prevail and act responsibly as elected representatives of the rakyat.

“In the spirit of safeguarding national and people’s interest, they should show statesmanship by sitting down and negotiating a consensual budget to get it passed.”

The names of the 91 academics who put their name to the statement are as follows:

  • Prof Emeritus Dr Abdul Rahman Embong, retired academic
  • Prof Emerita Dr Wazir Jahan Karim, anthropologist and conservationist
  • Prof Dr Syed Farid Alatas, National University of Singapore
  • Prof Emeritus Dr Tham Siew Yean, retired academic
  • Prof Emeritus Dr Muhamad Salleh
  • Prof Zaharom Nain, the University of Nottingham Malaysia
  • Prof Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Prof Dr Maude E Phipps, Monash University Malaysia
  • Prof Dr Edmund Terence Gomez, Universiti Malaya
  • Prof Dr Sharmani Patricia Gabriel, Universiti Malaya
  • Prof Dr Teh Yik Koon, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia
  • Prof Dr Mohamed Aslam Haneef, International Islamic University of Malaysia
  • Prof Dr Nor Faridah Abdul Manaf, International Islamic University of Malaysia
  • Prof Dr Chin Yee Whah, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Dr Ong Puay Liu, retired professor of anthropology
  • Abdul Halim Ali, retired professor of sociology
  • Dr Ahmad Mahdzan Ayob, retired professor, former university deputy vice chancellor
  • Dr Francis Loh Kok Wah, retired professor of politics
  • Dr Subramaniam Pillay, retired academic and co-founder of Aliran
  • Dr Madeline Berma, retired academic, fellow, Academy of Sciences Malaysia
  • Norani Othman, retired professor of sociology
  • Assoc Prof Dr Helen Ting, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Dr Hew Wai Weng, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Assoc Prof Dr Lew Bon Hoi, New Era University College
  • Dr Lai Suat Yan, Universiti Malaya
  • Dr Khoo Ying Hooi, Universiti Malaya
  • Assoc Prof Dr Yeoh Seng Guan, Monash University Malaysia
  • Assoc Prof Dr Kuik Cheng Chwee, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Dr Mohd Faizal Musa, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Dr Greg Lopez, Murdoch University
  • Dr Charis Quay Huei Li, Université Paris-Saclay
  • Dr Rusaslina Idrus, Universiti Malaya
  • Dr Phua Kai Lit, retired associate professor
  • Assoc Prof Dr Sumit Mandal, the University of Nottingham Malaysia
  • Dr Por Heong Hong, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Dr Lim Teck Ghee, retired academic
  • Assoc Prof Dr Khoo Gaik Cheng, the University of Nottingham Malaysia
  • Dr Mazlan bin Che Soh, Universiti Teknologi Mara
  • Dr Chong Wu Ling, Universiti Malaya
  • Dr Muhamad Azwan Abd Rahman, Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • Bealeatham Kalimuthu, retired academic
  • Dr Teo Lee Ken, independent researcher
  • Muhammad Ariff Asyrul Adnan, Universiti Teknologi Mara
  • Rosli H. Mahat, retired associate professor of physics
  • Dr Omar Shawkataly, retired academic
  • Dr Ngo Sheau Shi, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Dr Yuwana Podin, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
  • Dr Tunku Mohar Tunku Mohd Mokhtar, International Islamic University of Malaysia
  • Azmyl Yusof, Sunway University
  • Dr Andrew Aeria, retired academic
  • Tricia Yeoh, PhD candidate, the University of Nottingham Malaysia
  • Dr Azmil Tayeb, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Dr Koh Sin Yee, Monash University Malaysia
  • Dr Brendan J. Gomez, independent scholar
  • Dr Show Ying Xin, Australian National University
  • Dr Ramze Endut, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Dr V Selvaratnam, retired academic
  • Haris Zuan Jaharudin, academic and PhD candidate, Cranfield University
  • Fatimah Mohd Tajuddin, academic and PhD candidate
  • Mohd Sazni, MA candidate
  • Syahida Johan, academic
  • Ooi Kok Hin, MA candidate, independent researcher
  • Zikri Rahman, PhD candidate, National Chiao Tung University
  • Helmy Muhammad, PhD candidate
  • Aisyah Tajuddin, academic
  • Nabilah Huda, academic
  • Fairuzzaman Shaharuddin, PhD candidate
  • Dr Wan Manan Wan Muda, retired academic
  • Dr Azizan Bahari, retired academic, writer
  • Dr Wan Puspa Melati Wan Abdul Halim, academic
  • Marilyn Ong Siew Ai, retired academic
  • Dr Athi Sivan T. Mariappan, independent researcher
  • Dr Chan lean Heng, retired academic
  • Dr Wilson Tay Tze Vern, Taylor’s University Malaysia
  • Fang Yi Xue, academic and PhD Candidate, Inti International University
  • Dr Lee Hwok Aun, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute
  • Dr Sharifah Munirah Alatas, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Dr Chai Ming Hock, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Bassit Husain, academic, Universiti Kuala Lumpur
  • Akmal Hisham Abdul Rahim, Universiti Teknologi Mara
  • Aznijar Mohd Yazid, Universiti Malaya
  • Dr Simon Soon, Universiti Malaya
  • Dr Chang Teck Peng, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College
  • Dr Wong Kok Keong, Berjaya University College
  • Dr Welyne Jeffrey Jehom, Universiti Malaya
  • Dr Ngeow Chow Bing, Universiti Malaya
  • Dr Muhamad Nadzri Mohamed Noor, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Dr Peter Chang, Universiti Malaya
  • Assoc Prof Dr Sivachandralingam Sundara Raja, Universiti Malaya
  • Assoc Prof Dr Chang Yun Fah, Taylor’s University Malaysia
  • UK Menon, CEO, Espact Education. – TMI