King consents to emergency until Aug 1

Agong declares emergency until 1st August or until COVID-19 situation is under control

King consents to emergency until Aug 1

The government has given its assurance that the judiciary will continue to function to uphold the law and justice throughout the emergency period.

Correspondingly, Muhyiddin stated his commitment that a general election will be held as soon as the Independent Special Committee to be established certifies that the Covid-19 epidemic is under control or has fully recovered and elections are safe to hold.

Some lawmakers in the ruling coalition have pulled support for the premier and have called for early elections, while opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said previous year that he had a majority to form a new government. The move allows for the suspension of parliament and political activities, such as local elections, and comes at a time Muhyiddin's highly unstable, 10-month-old government is facing a host of challenges. "The declaration of a state of emergency seems like another attempt by Muhyiddin to hold on to power, block elections and to remove parliamentary oversight, rather than to seriously address the pandemic", tweeted Josef Benedict from Civicus, a global alliance of civil society organisations and activists. The PM said the healthcare system is at a breaking point and is under tremendous pressure. The country has reported over 138,000 virus cases and 555 deaths.

But the move should not be considered a "military coup", Muhyiddin said during a televised speech, adding that his civilian government will remain in charge during the emergency, according to news reports.

Economists warned the emergency and new lockdown measures will harder for the expected economic recovery to meet the government's 2021 growth target of 6.5-7.5%. Muhyiddin first tried persuade the king to declare an emergency in October but was rebuffed.

In the current context, the prime minister explained that the King may promulgate ordinances for the goal of curbing the pandemic which include matters relating to the use of private hospital assets, temporary acquisitions of lands, buildings or movable property of private hospitals or making requests for the use of private hospital resources to treat Covid-19 patients.

Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah "is of the opinion that the Covid-19 outbreak in the country is at a very critical stage and that there was a need for the emergency", said a statement from the national palace. But, the monarch also has the power to decide if an emergency should be declared, based on threats to security, economy or public order.

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