Emergency not successful in bringing down Covid-19 figures, protecting national economy, says Najib

  • Nation
  • Monday, 17 Jan 2022

PETALING JAYA: The Emergency Proclamation that lasted nearly eight months last year was not successful in bringing down Covid-19 figures and protecting the national economy, says former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

This eventually led to intervention by the Malay Rulers, he said in refuting remarks made by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Sunday (Jan 16).

Muhyiddin had told Abu Dhabi newspaper The National that the Emergency Proclamation from Jan 1 to Aug 20 was necessary to manage the Covid-19 pandemic.

Muhyiddin said the lockdowns had cost Putrajaya RM2.6bil a day, adding that it was the first time Emergency laws were used in managing a pandemic.

Najib, however, disagreed and said in a Facebook post Monday (Jan 17): "The country's situation was worsening and it led to the King and the Malay Rulers to issue a joint statement, urging for the Emergency Proclamation to end, and to use a new approach to fight Covid-19 as well as protect the national economy."

Najib then attached several links to the Malay Rulers' statement on June 16.

"That is why many Malaysians are of the opinion that the Emergency and lockdowns by Muhyiddin wasn't to battle Covid-19, but to stop him from being toppled as prime minister, so Perikatan Nasional could continue ruling," the Pekan MP claimed.

Najib said that despite the lengthy Emergency and two movement control orders (MCO) declared last year, Covid-19 infection figures and deaths remained among the worst in the South-East Asia region and the world.

He was referring to the MCO enforced between Jan 13 and March 5, and the total lockdown between May 12 and Aug 20.

"Cumulative deaths per one million residents increased from 418 on Aug 20 to 789 at the end of September.

"Then, our daily Covid-19 cases and deaths were among the highest in the world," said Najib.

On June 16, after a special meeting at Istana Negara, the Malay rulers issued a statement saying there was no need to extend the Emergency beyond Aug 1, and more inclusive approaches involving regular Malaysians and stakeholders were required to battle Covid-19.

On July 21, Putrajaya announced that it had revoked the Emergency Proclamation, which led to a statement by Istana Negara on July 29, with the King expressing disappointment with the government's decision to revoke the ordinances without Royal consent.

Muhyiddin resigned on Aug 16 after 17 months as prime minister when 15 Umno MPs, led by party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, retracted their support for the Perikatan government.

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