What exactly is emergency power?

Prof Madya Dr Shamrahayu Abd Aziz

KUCHING: An emergency means a situation related to security, economy and public order that cannot be controlled through a normal administrative system.

Constitutional expert Prof Madya Dr Shamrahayu Abd Aziz in explaining this said a declaration of emergency is a proclamation made by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong through a gazette that such a situation has existed or is imminent.

“The general effect of the declaration of emergency is that the Constitution is suspended and the administration of the country is determined by the executive.

“The military can also take the lead in security matters if the situation requires, especially when an emergency is declared due to threats to national security. Parliament can still convene if it is not dissolved,” she said.

Quoting Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, Shamrahayu said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may declare a state of emergency if a major threat to the security or economic life or public order in the Federation or any part thereof has existed.

“Under Article 150 (2), the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can also make an emergency proclamation if he felt there is a threat of a major emergency, due to national security, or economic life or public order,” she said in a Facebook post on Friday.

Shamrahayu said there are three grounds that can be used by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to make a declaration of emergency, which involves threats to – national security, economy or public order.

On when a state of emergency cease, the academician said Article 150 does not explicitly mention the issue of annulling the emergency proclamation – when and by whom.

“Article 150 (3) indirectly states, ‘Emergency Proclamation and any ordinance promulgated under Clause (2B) … shall cease to have effect if the resolution is approved by both Councils disregarding the Proclamation…’.

“This underlined phrase indicates annulment of a proclamation and emergency law made by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can be made through a resolution approved by both Houses of Parliament,” she said.