Azmin takes Anwar to task

Checking up: Annuar reviewing the operation of MYGrocer@Wilayah at PPR Air Panas in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Opposition should stop sowing instability and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should not be obsessed with wanting to become the next prime minister when the country was grappling with a health pandemic, says Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

The Senior Minister described Anwar’s “descent into dictatorship” remarks over any proposal for a state of emergency as a slur on the Perikatan Nasional government and frontliners who were working hard to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is most regrettable that the leader of the Opposition has chosen to stir up instability and sow hatred when he claimed to the whole world that he had obtained a convincing and formidable majority in Parliament to form a new government.

“In his relentless quest to become prime minister, Anwar has resorted to outright lies as well as subterfuge not only against the nation but even Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, ” he said in a statement yesterday.

Azmin said it could not be over stressed that counter and pre-emptive measures must go beyond health and economic issues to incorporate border control and safeguard territorial security.

“In light of this, the opposition parties’ outburst about the nation descending into dictatorship should a state of economic emergency be declared is an act of utter recklessness and irresponsibility most unbecoming of MPs, ” he said.

Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said Anwar should not pre-empt the conditions of a state of emergency which had yet to be decided by the King.

“It is not ethical for him to pass judgment on the government as yet. He is coming up with his own deductions on what conditions will be imposed if a state of emergency is proclaimed.

“It will not be as simple as coming up with a single sentence to say that a state of emergency has been declared.

Concern for the nation: Azmin (left) and Mohamad.Concern for the nation: Azmin (left) and Mohamad.

“There will be a thorough explanation on what the conditions will be.

“Currently, public perception of an Emergency brings to mind the dark days of May 13,1969, when there were curfews with economic activity halted. No, it’s not like that, ” he told reporters during a visit to the PPR Air Panas in Setapak yesterday.

Annuar said there were many reasons why governments declared a state of emergency, citing the severe floods in Manik Urai, Kelantan, which led to a flood emergency being declared.

He added that Anwar had a hand in causing the current political

turmoil when he went to meet the King to claim he had the numbers supporting him to be prime minister.

“When we checked the 42 names from Umno and Barisan Nasional who were allegedly in Anwar’s list of supporters, all said they were never contacted on the matter. They did not even know their names were on the list.

“Thirty-two countries around the world have already declared a state of emergency due to the pandemic, ” said Annuar, who is the Barisan secretary-general.

Meanwhile, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan cautioned the government to ensure that its actions must not be seen to undermine the spirit of the Federal Constitution and put science on the back-burner.

“Whatever action taken to address the crisis must reflect the government’s capability in executing rational actions based on scientific findings, and taking the public interest into consideration.

“Handle the crisis by upholding the Constitution, and allowing functional democracy.

“Enhance public health and security response systems, and place priority on the interest of the ordinary people, and don’t burden them further, ” Mohamad said in a Facebook post yesterday.

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