BY NUR SHAZREENA ALI, SARAH HAFIZAH EDWIN CHANDRA & MARGARET RINGGIT
KUCHING: The sudden declaration of a state of emergency in the country has received mixed reactions from politicians, economists and foreign stakeholders.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah declared the emergency in a statement on Tuesday, clarifying that the move was effectively implemented nationwide from today (Jan 12) until Aug 1 to contain further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a televised address after the release of the statement, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin explained that the move was vital to curb the spread of Covid-19 after surges in new daily positive cases in recent weeks.
Malaysia’s stocks and currency later saw the Bursa Malaysia market index fall around 1.45 percent from the previous day.
New Sarawak Tribune spoke to the public to seek their views on the state of emergency.
KHAIRUNNISA ISKANDAR (student)
The declaration of a state of emergency is vital during this period given the spike in Covid-19 cases that are in the four digits daily. I believe that it is only right for Sarawak to postpone the state election until the situation improves.
SALLEHUDIN FIKRI DRAHMAN (student)
I think it is good to declare a state of emergency and postpone the state election because they will help to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases daily. Now is the time for us to stay united and do our part for the country.
DIYANA (media practitioner)
The state election should not be held when there is a surge in Covid-19 cases. The declaration of a state of emergency is justified to curb the spread of Covid-19. Politicians must put aside their self-interests and give priority to the safety of the people.
NUR SYAZWANIE ALI (fresh graduate)
It is important not to hold the state election at this particular time to ensure the well-being of the public. We are in midst of war, fighting Covid-19 and public health is more important than politics.
Reactions were mixed in Miri following the emergency declaration announced on Tuesday as part of the government efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The emergency declaration will run until August 1 as Covid-19 positive cases have surged.
ISMAWATI ABDULLAH (food stall operator)
I support it. Without an emergency declaration, people will not stop moving around. However, it will have a negative impact on the business community.
WONG AI UN (private sector worker)
I hope it will not be extended beyond August. Hopefully, we can get the vaccines soon. A lot of people are worried.