PUTRAJAYA: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said not even one of the ordinances introduced under the Emergency Proclamation was aimed at enabling the prime minister to remain in power forever.
In fact, the emergency that is in force now has an end date, Aug 1 this year, he said.
“This is the first time in the history of our country that an emergency has an end date … I am aware of and I understand the meaning of democracy,” he said in his One-Year Malaysia Prihatin Keynote Address here today which was carried live on local television.
Muhyiddin said since the emergency came into force, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had promulgated three ordinances, namely the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, Emergency (Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Amenities) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 and Emergency (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021.
He said all the ordinances were aimed at enabling the government to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic more efficiently and effectively, including improving the management of foreign workers’ accommodation, which was one of the main causes of the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
He said with the emergency proclamation, all the ordinances could be promulgated in a short time without having to go through the parliamentary process which is normally lengthy.
“The Emergency Proclamation consented to by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is solely to overcome the Covid-19 problem.
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has also appointed an Independent Special Committee which includes opposition MPs to study the emergency situation in the country and make recommendations on whether the emergency can be lifted earlier or not,” he said.
Muhyiddin said he believed the committee would thoroughly study the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country.
“If this committee is satisfied that the Covid-19 problem has been fully brought under control, then a recommendation can be made for the emergency to be lifted,” he said.
In the meantime, he requested for the government to be given the space to focus fully on efforts to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
The prime minister gave an assurance that once the Covid-19 problem has been settled, he himself would advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament for the general election to be held.
“As I have repeatedly stressed, I uphold the Constitution and the principles of democracy … the main focus of this government at this moment is to steer this country clear of the double whammy of health and economic crises.
“Once the pandemic is over, which I hope will be very soon, I will advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve the Parliament. Until then, my colleagues in the Cabinet and I will continue to carry out our duties and responsibilities to the best of our ability,” he added.
Muhyiddin also said that when the election is held, it is up to the people to decide whether the PN government should be re-elected or otherwise.
“You are free to choose and that is what democracy is all about,” he said. – Bernama