Decision to stave off emergency declaration bodes well for democracy

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Photograph: Wikimedia Commons

The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) denounces Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s move to seek a “medical emergency” to combat Covid-19, as it is a desperate attempt by his unelected administration to stay in power, and a misuse of the powers granted to the position of prime minister.

C4 Center also lauds the the King’s decision that there is no need for the declaration of an emergency to combat Covid-19 in Malaysia.

In a statement issued by the royal comptroller, it was noted that the upcoming Budget 2021 is more crucial than ever, as it will allow frontline personnel to continue their work.

His Majesty also called for any politicking that will affect the running of the country to be stopped immediately.

It bears reminding that the endless politicking, starting from the Sheraton Move, followed by a failed power grab in Sabah that led to a state-wide election, remains the primary reason behind the upsurge in Covid-19 numbers.

C4 Center supports this call, agreeing fully that parliamentary democracy must go on, and that the running of the country should not be halted due to the actions of politicians looking to hold on to their power by abusing it.

Muhyiddin met with the King on 23 October, with news outlets reporting that the audience was for the prime minister to advise His Majesty to agree to the declaration of a state of emergency to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which had seen increasing numbers over the past week.

With Deputy Energy and Natural Resources Minister Ali Biju’s statement which claimed “only Parliament would be suspended and political activities limited,” it was even more likely that the bid for a declaration of emergency was a political move, rather than one for controlling the number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia.

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Thus, the bid for an emergency was nothing more than a blatant abuse of the powers granted to the prime minister.

C4 Center calls for Parliament to perform its true function to provide legislative checks and balances, and for MPs to actively and fully participate in addressing Budget 2021, which is a matter on the minds of Malaysians in this time of uncertainty.

C4 Center would also like to express its concern over the possibility of horse trading to buy cooperation, especially in light of the option for Muhyiddin to forge a confidence-and-supply agreement. A guarantee that this will not happen would be a start towards further transparency in the governing body of Malaysia.

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