Military deployment is completely unnecessary since there is no civil disobedience taking place and when there is the General Operations Force and Rela that could step in, WH Cheng writes.
I refer to the announcement made by the defence minister on 20 March that the military will be deployed to curb people’s movement on the streets and eateries around Malaysia, some questions come to mind.
First of all, why does the Ministry of Defence need to deploy the military? Is there unrest on the streets? The police force already has sufficient personnel to deal with the enforcement of the movement control order.
Furthermore, the General Operations Force (Pasukan Gerak Am), the enforcement officers of the various municipal councils nationwide and the voluntary security force (Rela) can also be deployed to assist the police force in enforcing the movement control.
Military deployment is completely unnecessary since there is no civil disobedience taking place. It is only that the people are still unclear of the situation, given the government’s continual flip-flop on relaying information and details to the public. There are also inconsistencies among ministers when certain announcements were made, and this has confused the public.
We wonder if the defence minister is authorised to deploy the army into the streets and whether his decree is made in accordance with the law. Did he consult the chief of defence forces and the service chiefs’ council before making such statements?
Earlier, the chief of defence forces had assured the public that the military would not be deployed to the streets to enforce the movement control order. It is only the defence minister who is overly keen in demonstrating his powers against the will of the people.
The masses are already experiencing rising inflation. The people are not assured of a continuous supply of food. They are not assured that there will not be price hikes in such a situation. They are also not confident about the way this government is handling the situation.
We question the competency of the home affairs minister as there were a number of flip-flops on his part as to how the police and security agencies under his ministry should be deployed.
Are ministers still busy trying to woo Pakatan Harapan MPs before the next parliamentary sittings? The prime minister had said he already has 114 MPs behind him. So why the need to woo MPs over to their side?
This is what made the entire enforcement activities a mess when ministers are not focused. In the end, the people are blamed for their problems.