State of Emergency Declared in Malaysia

Yesterday the Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced tougher measures to combat the spread of Covid-19. Today he is defending the decision to implement a State of Emergency in the country.

Rising numbers of cases in the country has prompted King Abdullah Ahmad Shah to agree to the government’s request for an emergency order effective until 1st August, unless cases are controlled.

“Al-Sultan Abdullah is of the view that the spread of Covid-19 in the country is at a very critical stage and there is need to decree an Emergency Proclamation.”

Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin. Royal Comptroller

The government had previously requested a State of Emergency in October last year which the King had not agreed to. Casesd have surged however since then.

The number of new cases reported today is 3,309, the highest in the pandemic so far, eclipsing the previous high set last Thursday. Worrying there are 30,390 active cases of which 190 are now serious or critical with the number of available hospital beds now said to be less than 100.

Mr Muhyiddin has been hanging on to power in recent months and the state of emergency and subsequent postponement of elections and the suspending of parliament has raised accusations that he is hanging on to power by any means possible.

Muhyiddin has sought to reassure people by insisting that the government will continue to operate despite the emergency powers allowing him to pass legislation without it going through parliament.

“Let me assure you, the civilian government will continue to function. The emergency proclaimed by the king is not a military coup and curfew will not be enforced.”

“I give my firm commitment that the general election will be held as soon as an independent special committee to be established declares that the COVID-19 epidemic has subsided or is fully under control and it is safe to hold elections.”

Muhyiddin Yassin

Malaysia has recently been acquiring additional doses of vaccines and has now confirmed 25 millions doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 6.4 million of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, 6.4 million of the World HEalth Organisation COVAX vaccine and 14 million doses of Sinovac from China.

Malaysia has so far recorded 141,533 cases of Covid-19 and 559 deaths including a further 4 in the last 24 hours.

Photo credit Azlan Baharudin on Unsplash

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