Tommy Thomas: Irrational for 'grave emergency' to develop overnight

PETALING JAYA: However grave the Covid-19 situation may be in Sabah, it does not warrant a declaration of emergency, says Tan Sri Tommy Thomas.

The former attorney general said that a proclamation of emergency under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution had tremendous negative consequences on the nation's body politic and the exercise of freedoms and liberties.

He said such a move was also unconstitutional.

"It is difficult to find a single rational argument to support a case that there is a 'grave emergency' today in Malaysia.

"Covid-19 has been with us since January. On a relative and comparative scale, Malaysia has handled Covid-19 well.

"The same government cannot then claim that overnight, Covid-19 has became so 'threatening' that we have a grave emergency," he said in a statement on Saturday (Oct 24).

Thomas said Article 150(1) provides that if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that a grave emergency exists, whereby the 'security' or the 'economic life' or 'public order' in Malaysia is threatened, he may issue a proclamation of Emergency.

However, Thomas said he believed it was impossible for the Prime Minister to argue that the security of Malaysia was in any way affected by whether he continued to be in office.

"Likewise, 'public order'. That leaves 'economic life'. This precondition has no application.

"In these circumstances, there are no legal grounds for the proclamation of emergency in Malaysia today. It would therefore be unconstitutional," he added.

"For all these reasons, I implore the Prime Minister to withdraw this option," he said.

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