Refer to constitution before commenting on emergency

Tan Sri Annuar Musa. Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa advised Port Dickson Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to refer to the federal constitution before issuing a statement on speculations that the government would declare a state of emergency yesterday.

Annuar, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general, said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president should read the federal constitution under Article 150 which explains various types of emergencies.

“When matters which touch on the issue of national security, economy and others are listed, their interpretations must be referred to legal experts. Does this Covid-19 pandemic not fall into the emergency and security category?

“Thirty-two countries around the world have already declared a state of emergency, Malaysia has yet to do so because we feel we can still manage the country… then too, I still didn’t say the government will declare a state of emergency,” he told reporters while checking on the MyGrocer @ Wilayah operations at the People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Kampung Baru Air Panas, Setapak, here, today.

He was commenting on Anwar’s statement yesterday who reportedly said that a declaration of emergency was only made when there was an element of threat to national security and if the government was the source of the security threat, then emergency measures were a step backwards that would allow dictatorship.

Annuar said the government had not decided on the declaration of emergency in the country and it needed the consent of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah before it was implemented.

“When one mentions emergency, the public imagines a ‘curfew’, the emergency during May 13 but we forgot the flood in Manik Urai, Kelantan a while ago, why did the government not declare an emergency? That is called a flood emergency and there are various types of emergencies.

“Regardless, we wait… the government has not made any decision because everything must follow the rule of law. If the government has not made any decision but we have come to a conclusion that by saying the government wants to be a dictator — that I think is not fair,” he said.

However, Annuar said if the government decides to declare a state of emergency, it must have a thorough explanation such as the specific type of emergency and who rules the country during the implementation of the emergency.

I see Anwar’s (statement) analysis is that of a layman. He said there was nothing that was disturbing public order.

Meanwhile, 178 public and private housing areas in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur benefited from the MyGrocer @ Wilayah programme which is a mobile market selling items for the kitchen and daily basic food at low prices to reduce the cost of living for the low-income group (B40). – Bernama