Political analyst bemused by state of emergency declaration

Dick Lembang Dugun

KUCHING: The declaration of a state of emergency is likely adding to the damage done to Malaysia by its political situation that is already difficult to remedy and has tarnished the nation’s democracy, said political analyst Dick Lembang Dugun.

“Is the intention of proclaiming a state of emergency as suggested by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government really to cope with the increase in Covid-19 cases or because the PN government lost majority due to some United Malays National Organisation (Umno) members withdrawing their support towards the Prime Minister or the PN government?

“Some observers or experts tend to see this is the action taken by the PN government for their political survival for the time being,” he said when contacted on Wednesday (Jan 13).

He said if these measures were taken for Covid-19, the approach of implementing the movement control order (MCO) was sufficient to handle the pandemic.

“This will impact our economy and how other countries view us; it tarnishes the image of our country,” he said.

As for Sarawak, Dugun said a direct implication was that its 12th state election cannot be held.

He felt that Sarawak should not have been included in the state of emergency if its implementation was based on Covid-19 cases.

“The cases in Sarawak can still be controlled by the state government using MCO and similar measures,” he said.

Noting that the state election is due by August at the latest, he said the preparations of political parties would be distracted. 

“Hopefully, our country can be back on the right track, and that democracy and the Constitution are not thrown out into the rubbish bin,” he said.