Anwar petitions Agong to lift Emergency, urges all MPs to follow suit
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters after meeting with the Pakatan Harapan presidential council in Petaling Jaya January 12, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Federal Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he was written to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to ask that the latter rescind the Proclamation of Emergency placed across Malaysia until August 1.

According to Anwar’s letter that he shared with the media, he said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin misled the Agong with the advice for the proclamation and that Muhyiddin was also in no position to do as as his government no longer has majority support among federal lawmakers.

“We think the prime minister and the government have been excessive and misguided in conveying advice to the Yangi-Pertuan Agong because it is not really related to Covid-19 problems, floods or the economy,” Anwar said in the letter.

He asserted that most lawmakers would not challenge reasonable measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, which he argued should also have been included within Budget 2021.

Anwar further asserted that the government already had sufficient leeway to handle the pandemic prior to the Emergency, citing the wide-ranging powers of the movement control order (MCO) that sent the country into a lockdown for several months last year.

Federal lawmakers have also proposed a bipartisan committee since March 2020 to address legal matters that arose from the pandemic, which Anwar said negated the PM’s claim that the Emergency would allow the government to enact needed laws.

“This does not require an emergency. The economic crisis is of great concern while unemployment, poverty and disparities are on the rise.

“An emergency will definitely cause the economic situation to worsen,” he said.

The Opposition leader then demanded that Parliament convene for an emergency sitting on January 31 to deliberate on the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis.

Anwar urged his fellow lawmakers to join him in both calls by writing individually to the Agong so that the emergency sitting could be convened.

“May these letters get the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s wisdom and courtesy to rescind the emergency declaration, and then a decree for Parliament to reconvene immediately before Jan 31 to debate on the emergency, Covid-19, and the political crisis enveloping the country,” he said.

On Tuesday, Muhyiddin announced that the Agong has agreed to proclaim an Emergency last until August 1 to allow the federal government to contain the Covid-19 pandemic without political distractions.