Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) and Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) stand in solidarity with the people to humbly plead with Duli Yang Maha Mulia Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Duli-Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja-Raja Melayu for the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance effective 11 January to 1 August 2021.
On 12 January, a day after the proclamation, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin addressed the nation, stating the one and only reason was “the threat of Covid-19 pandemic which has directly become a major threat to the economic life of the people in this country”.
The PM further stated: “Apart from the sharp increase in positive Covid-19 cases, there are several states in Malaysia such as Johor, Pahang and Kelantan currently experiencing heavy flooding, directly posing major threats to the safety and economic life of the people.”
The seasonal monsoon flooding has never been an excuse for an emergency where Parliament has to cease to function. Neither should be a pandemic, where power rests in the hands of a few. In a natural disaster and a pandemic, more heads put together to solve problems is obviously in need. It allows not only better ideas, but a collective decision and maximum cooperation from all parties.
Currently, there is an ongoing online petition that has gathered about 40,000 signatures appealing to His Majesty and their Royal Highnesses for this purpose. Besides this, many politicians and individuals have spoken out against the emergency proclamation. The Malaysian Bar is of the opinion that the emergency proclamation is unconstitutional and has instructed the Bar Council to take any necessary step, including instituting legal proceedings on behalf of the body.
Other than the legal issue well articulated by luminaries, economists have also argued that the past few months under emergency rule has done more damage than good. The economy has contracted further, while [emergency rule] did not help to arrest the rate of infectivity. There are other issues that point to the emergency proclamation as hardly legitimate and unnecessary.
With regard to Covid, vaccines, the pandemic and all issues pertaining to health, the knowledge of such nature is not a monopoly of a vested few. Similarly, it is a grave mistake to assume only those in the establishment have the knowledge and should be allowed to make decisions for the millions when there are many unknowns pertaining to the mid and long-term effects of vaccines, variants of the virus, and uncertainty regarding immunity. Others not in the establishment may be equally or more knowledgeable in certain aspects.
Hence, it is time to consider that there is more than one strategy available to tackle the Covid scourge. The establishment must be open to ideas from others who are equally knowledgeable. Governance of the country faced with such a pandemic that catalysed our economic downturn cannot be left to just the National Security Council.
Parliament must reconvene.
Governance under the Emergency Ordinance to check the economic slide has failed. So has the failure to check the rate of infectivity. In fact, it has caused more unnecessary socioeconomic hardship. The basis for the continuance under emergency rule is now absent. The only reason for its continuance is political, for a government that can hardly be considered legitimate because its existence has no mandate from the people.
We, the originators of this statement, humbly appeal to His Majesty and their Royal Highnesses to rescind the emergency proclamation.
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot)
Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM)