Cover Story, Current Affairs, National

Why declare ‘darurat’ when other options are still available?

Press statement by MP for Bandar Kuching, Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen on 13 January 2021:

 

While it seems that many have “accepted” the declaration of emergency as a good thing in order to fight Covid-19 and to “stop the politicking”, there are still many other options to do so without far-reaching consequences.

 
For illustrative purposes..
 

Fighting Covid-19

  • Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act (Act 342) already prescribes powers to government to curb the spread of disease.
  • MCO /CMCO had already been declared to “flatten the curve” thus there is no need for an emergency.
  • When we look at countries that have successfully controlled the spread of the virus, they did not do it through an EMERGENCY.
 
 

Reducing “politicking”

  • The PM could have approached the Opposition to come up with an understanding. That would be mature politics. The fact of the matter is, the opposition had publicly said many times that we do not want an election during the pandemic.
  • The ones trying to trigger an election are their own coalition partners, NOT the opposition.
 
MP for Bandar Kuching, Dr Kelvin Yii speaking in Parliament
 

Furthermore, many have said that declaring a state of emergency wouldn’t affect their lives. I beg to differ. Let me list some far-reaching consequences:

 

1. Significantly affect business and foreign investors confidence. Create business uncertainties.

  • We can see the result of share market yesterday. Malaysia’s stocks and currency fell after the Yang di- Pertuan Agong declared a state of emergency.
  • Foreign investors are taking their money and investing into our neighbours due to poor governance.
 

2. Concentration of powers in PM

  • The suspension of Parliament means that the PM can just enact laws and spend public money without scrutiny from elected MPs
  • Suspend the platform (Parliament) for the voices and plight of the rakyat to be brought to and proper policy discussion to be done to address the issue.
 
 

3. Over-reaching powers even into powers conferred to the States; risking abuses of power.

  • Emergency conferred broad legislative powers on the executive which enables it to override numerous constitutional safeguards including fundamental liberties, the federal-state separation of powers, and ordinary protections against the abuse of power infringement of personal liberties etc.
  • Certain State powers has already been encroached ie halting the State Assembly meeting, or even powers of the CM to dissolve assembly etc.
 

So, while we agree there should’t be an election during the pandemic, and we need to curb the spread of the virus, there are OTHER OPTIONS to do so without such over-reaching consequences.

Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching

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