KUALA LUMPUR: The following are the highlights of the emergency proclaimed by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to curb the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent explanation on the matter by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.
- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah proclaimed that the emergency would be enforced till Aug 1 as a proactive measure to contain the worsening Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia.
- The Proclamation of Emergency allows an Ordinance to be promulgated under Clause (2B) of Article 150 to provide the necessary powers to curb and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
- Al-Sultan Abdullah declared that the emergency will be in force up to that date, or earlier if the number of daily Covid-19 positive cases can be controlled and reduced effectively.
- The Emergency Ordinance can be proclaimed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to curb the pandemic through the use of private hospital assets, the temporary acquisition of land, buildings or movable property belonging to private hospitals and the use of private hospitals’ resources for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
- The Emergency announced is not a form of coup and there will be no curfew imposed.
- The administration of the government, Cabinet and state executive councils will continue to function in accordance to the Federal Constitution.
- An ordinance can be promulgated to grant enforcement powers to the Malaysian Armed Forces in addition to existing powers.
- The Malaysian Armed Forces is assigned the power to assist in the implementation of functions regarding public health related to the pandemic that are conducted by civil servants.
- National border control aspects are to be tightened by empowering the armed forces in addition to the police and the Immigration Department to apprehend illegal immigrants or whoever violates the country’s borders.
- The government will function as usual at federal and state levels throughout the enforcement of the Emergency.
- General elections, state elections and by-elections will not be held throughout the duration of the Emergency.
- An independent special committee, represented by both government and opposition MPs as well as health experts, will be established to determine when elections can be safely held.
- The government guarantees that the judiciary will continue to uphold justice throughout the enforcement of the Emergency and that it will not interfere in court matters.
- The federal executive powers cover all areas under the state’s legal powers except for syarak law and Malay customs, native customs and laws in Sabah and Sarawak, religion, citizenship and language in line with Clause 6A of Article 150 of the Federal Constitution.
- Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said that the position and duties of all MPs as elected officials remain unchanged and will continue throughout the duration of the Emergency.
- Suspension of parliamentary and state legislative assembly sittings does not mean that both have been dissolved.
- Economic activities will continue to function throughout the duration of the Emergency, subject to compliance with the standard operating procedures.