State of emergency will not burden people, says Saratok MP

KUCHING: The state of emergency that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is reportedly seeking will not burden the people but only involve suspending Parliament, says Saratok MP Ali Biju.

"Only Parliament would be suspended and political activities limited,” he said

The Deputy Energy and Natural Resources Minister said he was made to understand that the purported Emergency Order would not entail military rule or curfews or any restrictions on economic activities.

"In other words, the rakyat is not going to be burdened at all and it will be business as usual for the shopkeepers, towkays and the captains of industries. Taxi drivers still get to drive,” he said in response to former attorney general Tommy Thomas' opinion against declaring an emergency.

Ali said in a statement on Sunday (Oct 25) that those who disagreed with having an emergency meant that they preferred to have an election during a "raging pandemic".

He called for "less politicking" and for people to work together to stabilise the government, fight Covid-19 and restore the economy.

"I think we can all agree that what Malaysia needs now is a strong plan to keep everyone safe and healthy, and an economic-driven strategy to keep our local industries and businesses running smoothly.

"The last thing we need is to spook our foreign investors with political uncertainties.

"And for the government to continue to drive the fight against this pandemic and for economic recovery to continue uninterrupted, we need a stable political landscape," he said.

On Thomas' view that it was unconstitutional to declare an emergency in the current situation, Ali said Emergency Orders were provided for in the Constitution.

"I am almost certain there are merits to his arguments which delve into the subtleties of the law and the complexities of interpretation of the Constitution, but legalese is not what is going to cure Covid-19, heal the economy, lower the political temperature or stabilise the nation," he said.

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