United in fight against pandemic

PETALING JAYA: Politicians are rallying behind the clarion call by the King to set aside their differences and to work together in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as a united nation.

The consensus came as leaders of political parties issued separate statements following the advice of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Sunday.

After meeting with the Malay Rulers, Sultan Abdullah had decided that there was no need to declare a state of emergency to fight the pandemic as the authorities were managing the situation very well.

Perikatan Nasional information chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the government, led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, would wholeheartedly work together with experts in health and economy sectors to lay out detailed plans to combat the pandemic holistically.

“We are calling on all parties, particularly political leaders across the divide, to stand united with the people in fighting Covid-19 and restore the health of our economy, ” he said in a statement.

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also expressed his gratitude to the King and called on political leaders to work together on strategies to help the economy recover from the effects of Covid-19.“Both sides, the government and the opposition, need to combine their efforts to develop effective strategies to counter the effects of Covid-19, as well as address unemployment and poverty, ” he said.

Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said it was time for ministers and elected representatives to make sacrifices and contribute to efforts in alleviating problems due to these challenging times.

“The people have made sacrifices and leaders should do the same, ” he said.

Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the King’s decision not to call for a state of emergency came as a relief to the people.

“We will heed the advice of the King and the Malay Rulers to allay the tension by imposing a political truce to ensure that we uphold political stability in our country, ” he said after an Umno supreme council meeting on Monday night.

Ahmad Zahid also called for “national reconciliation” between parties under Perikatan and the opposition and proposed for an “inclusive” approach to combat Covid-19 and its effects on the people and the economy.

He also declared Umno’s continued support for the Perikatan government and called for the principles of cooperation to be improved based on respect and political consensus.

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the King’s proclamation was based on his trust in Muhyiddin’s capabilities in managing the Covid-19 crisis in the country.

He said the government should be given space to focus on protecting the people and lightening their burden brought on by Covid-19.

PAS also expressed its gratitude to the King for supporting the government in its efforts to manage and combat the pandemic while pledging to continue backing Muhyiddin.

Its secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said all of its 18 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat would stand in solidarity with Muhyiddin.

PBS president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili also lauded the King’s decree in not declaring a state of emergency and echoed calls for lawmakers to stop politicking.

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