PETALING JAYA: The general election will be held once the country is out of the woods from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister has given his commitment.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it was never his intention to stall the polls but he had no choice due to the pandemic.
Under the Emergency proclamation, no general, state or by-elections can be held, unlike under normal circumstances where elections must be called for within 60 days once a seat is declared vacant, he said.
Muhyiddin said the government was aware that the rakyat do not want an election to take place to avoid the further spread of Covid-19, just like what happened after the Sabah elections last September.
“Of late, there have been parties urging for elections to be held.
“I never have the intention to not have the elections. The main thing that has prevented me from advising the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament to pave the way for a general election is the Covid-19 pandemic, ” he said in his live television address yesterday.
He said the decision not to hold elections amidst the ravaging pandemic is in line with one of the five principles of Maqasid Syariah (protecting lives).
In this context, Muhyiddin said it is his duty as the head of the government to take care of the people by protecting them from being infected.
“This is the most important task as enshrined and propagated in Islam, ” he added.
Muhyiddin said an independent special committee will be formed under an ordinance to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during the Emergency proclamation period on whether a major Emergency still exists in the Federation.
The committee, formed to ensure transparency and fairness, will also advise the King if the Emergency proclamation should continue or end earlier than the designated date of Aug 1.
“As such, I want to give my firm commitment that the general election will be held as soon as the special committee acknowledges that the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided or (that we have) fully recovered, and elections are safe to be held.
“At that time, it is up to the rakyat to choose the government that they think is best suited to govern the country and look after their welfare.
“Trust me, this is my commitment, my promise and pledge which I will fulfil, God willing, ” he said.
Muhyiddin also spoke about politicians setting aside their political differences and standing in solidarity with the people.
“When the time comes for politicking, then do so, with responsibility.” He also said that during the Emergency proclamation period, Parliament and state legislative assemblies cannot sit until a suitable time is determined by the King.
Muhyiddin also assured the nation that the judiciary will continue to function to uphold law and justice during the Emergency proclamation period.
The Perikatan Nasional government, he said, will continue to defend the independence of the judiciary.
“The judiciary will continue to be the beacon of justice in our country and I will never interfere in the business of the court, ” he added.
Muhyiddin pleaded with Malaysians to remain calm and give their trust and backing to the government in its efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 during the Emergency period.
He also pleaded with all politicians, civil society leaders, non-governmental organisations, religious bodies, youth organisations, and all others in society to cooperate in facing these tough times.
“The most important aim is to win the war against Covid-19, ” he said. He urged the public to exercise more discipline during the MCO as well as the Emergency period.
“We hope we can lower the infection rates immediately and subsequently reduce the stress on our health system that is being burdened by the rising Covid-19 cases daily, ” he added.