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10 Things Every Malaysian Should Know About Proclaimation of Emergency

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has consented to a state of Emergency in the country until August 1, or until the current wave of Covid-19 subsides.

The Emergency declaration invoked by the government is not a military coup, nor will there be any curfew, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

He said the government will continue to perform its functions as usual.

“I want to stress that the emergency declaration by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is not a form of military coup.

“Curfew will also not be imposed,” he said in a live address this morning

10 Things Every Malaysian Should Know About Proclaimation of Emergency

Proclaimation of Emergency. What you need to know. (Updated from my previous post). And why you should not get Panic.

TL:DR – No Election | No Parliament Session |

Gov have more freedom and flexibility to make policy (Ordinance) on Economy related policies like extend moratorium, wage subsidy, BPN etc without having to go to Parliament | Vaccine distribution made easier | cross-partisan committee will be formed, as per Titah Tuanku to oversee the Darurat

Here are some personal observations on the declaration of State of Emergency.

1. Which statutory provisions allow the Government to proclaim State of Emergency in Malaysia?

– Emergency is provided for in the Constitution (Article 150). – Article 150, its subsections, and Article 150 (2A) and 2(B) detailed out the power of the Government under His Majesty YDPA in relation to Emergency

.2. What are the triggering events for Emergency to be proclaimed?

– three situations : Security (Usually external, like war), Economic Life (like the one we are having now) and Public Order like the COVID19 situation we are having now).

3. So the Government announced the MCO earlier under Disease Control Act (342). We were in a situation more stringent than CURFEW back then in the 60s and 70s. Why would the Government need Emergency?

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Mainly – power to enact/promulgate law outside parliament – Emergency ‘Ordinance’, especially for social control and economic reason.

– State of Emergency allows the Executive (Government) to make law under His Majesty’s name (that is as effective as the Parliament statute) known as Ordinance

.- these Ordinances can be vetted and voted down by Parliament when the Parliament convenes (Art 150).

– but before the Parliament vote it down or before the Government annuls it, these Ordinance stands as law.

– imagine, supply ordinances being made to extend moratorium, or allow government to spend above what was provisioned for in Last Year’s budget 2021. They can be carried out via Emergency Supply Ordinance – without having to first seek approval from Parliament.

4. What kind of ordinances the Government can make?

– during Emergency, Government can make law that are in contradiction of the Federal Constitution, except on matters related to the King’s power, malay and Sabah/Sarawak native custom, Citizenship etc.

– they can even create Ordinances that bears death penalty. We did that before.

5. Can we apply Court order to stop the Government from exercising the powers confered to them by these Ordinances?

– No. During Emergency, decisions and actions made by Public Officer under the ordinances cannot be challenged in court through Judicial Review.

6. What are the controls against government’s exercising beyond its power?

– Parliament, when in session, can make ordinances like it usually does for statute, it can also annul ordinances made by Government.

7. Can the government suspend parliament under emergency law?

– Article 55 (1) and (2) allows the King (Government) to prorogue (delay) the Parliament sitting up to 6 months from its last sitting.

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8. Why do you think the Government is considering Emergency?

In my personal opinion, this is attributed to few reasons

A) Pandemic and Vaccine. During state of Emergency, the Government can make ordinances easily to facilitate dealings regarding the pandemic ie to maintain public order, decide on how Vaccine jabs are given at policy & regulation level, etc.

B) Economic reason The Budget2021 saw an narrow escape as recent as a month ago, and I suppose it was drafted without having ‘as utmost prioritised consideration’ the possibility of MCO 2.0. At such, any measure that would cost beyond the ceiling of expenditure budgeted in the Budget2021 shall require another round of parliamentary debate and voting in the form of ‘supplementary budget’.

Under Emergency rule, this is dispensed with

– as the government can easily enact a ‘Supply Ordinance’ which is as powerful as an Act of Motion on Supply (Budget) passed by the Parliament.

C) Political Reason – StabilityWith the parliament prorogued, and Ordinances enacted, the Government buys itself another few months of stability – any challenges against the legitimacy of this government shall not survive due to – no parliament in session to move a vote of no confidence or to vote down supply bill, and Court loses its function to review judicially on law (ordinances) made under Emergency law.

9. Do we need to worry about our livelihood being affected by more restrictive measures and rhe state of emergency?

I doubt so. Earlier CMCO and RMCO clearly showed how reluctant the Government is, in curtailing economic activities – lesser road blocks, many retails are still allowed operations, and workers are still allowed to go to work.

The Government already had enough power to curtail movement – it did in march 2020, and yesterday 11.1.2021. If the government wanted to further restrict our movement, they could have done so by simply announcing MCO like it does now. Why didnt the government do that?

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Because government wants economic activities to carry on, for the survivorship of our economy. It makes no sense that the Government would further curtail this arrangment – it could have done so if it wanted without emergency, like how it was done in March 2020.

Having said that, i believe the Emergency was meant to provide government with adequate flexibility to deal with the pandemic, economic repercussions from movement restrictions, and political stability

– the certainty of not having a General Election before the end of the Emergency period.10.

10. Excerpt from titah Tuanku on 12.1.2021″Al-Sultan Abdullah turut berkenan terhadap cadangan Kerajaan bagi pembentukan satu Jawatankuasa Bebas yang akan dianggotai oleh Ahli-ahli Parlimen Kerajaan dan Pembangkang serta pakar-pakar kesihatan dan yang berkait.

“A cross-partisan committee along with healthcare professionals will be formed to oversee the implementation of the Darurat. Opposition members will need to scrutinise the Government’s plan thoroughly to ensure check and balance.

Last but not least,Fret not. This power is always at the discretion of our King His Majesty YDPA. Tuanku has demonstrated His Majesty’s reluctance in assenting to the emergency proclaimation request last year – which means, logically, Tuanku’s royal assent granted yesterday must have been a decision made upon seeing the case breaching an unusually high threshold.

In trying time like this, we should submit and endeavour to cooperate, as responsible citizens, to the Country, our King, and His Civil Servants.

We have so much faith in Tuanku, and thus it is reasonable for us to nestle comfortably in such faith for time being.

Daulat Tuanku

Source : Tai Zee Kin FB

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