Emergency has not turned M'sia into dictatorship, says PM's principal private secretary

KUALA LUMPUR: The proclamation of Emergency did not plunge Malaysia into a dictatorship, says Marzuki Mohamad.

The Prime Minister's principal private secretary said the Emergency Ordinance 2021 did not establish laws without trials such as the Internal Security Act (ISA).

"Mentris Besar and state executive councils, which existed before the proclamation of Emergency, will continue to conduct their executive duties in their respective states.

"The Federal Government did not take over the administration of Opposition states such as Penang, Negri Sembilan or Selangor.

"Opposition-leaning media outlets continue to operate and foreign journalists are not ousted from the country for their negative comments on the government. This is unlike what happened in the 1980s," he said in a Facebook post Sunday (Jan 17).

The Emergency proclamation marks the first time such a proclamation had an expiry date of Aug 1 (2021), he added.

"A special independent committee which includes Opposition lawmakers will also assess whether the emergency period could end earlier if the Covid-19 pandemic is under control before Aug 1," Marzuki said.

Parliament and the respective state assemblies could be in session once the emergency period has ended, he added.

"The Prime Minister has given his assurance that public administration will function as usual. There is no seizure of power by the military or curfew imposed," he said.

He further outlined several reasons such a proclamation could indeed turn the nation into a dictatorship, including if the ISA is brought back and Opposition politicians are held and put in prison or a military-type administration is enforced with absolute power in the hands of the Prime Minister.

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