Sunday, February 21, 2021

Agong consents to state of emergency over Covid-19

The emergency period will run until Aug 1 but could end earlier if the number of positive cases can be brought down to a manageable level.

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The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has consented to a proclamation of emergency as the government steps up its war against the Covid-19 battle.

The emergency period will run until Aug 1 but could end earlier if the number of positive cases can be controlled and reduced.

Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has also approved the formation of an independent committee comprising MPs from the government and opposition as well as health experts and those from related fields.

This comes a day after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the movement control order (MCO) would be reinstated in six states as daily cases remain in the four-figure range.

In a statement issued by Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, the Comptroller of the Royal Household, the king urged the people to remain calm and to preservere in the face of both the emergency declaration and the MCO.

“His Majesty also calls on the people to be disciplined in adhering to the SOPS and all directives set by the government and its agencies throughout the periods of emergency and MCO,” the statement said.

It said the king had consented to an audience with Muhyiddin yesterday evening, at which the prime minister presented the Cabinet’s recommendation that a state of emergency be declared as a proactive step towards curbing the spread of Covid-19.

The king was also briefed by Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali, Attorney-General Idrus Harun, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Election Commission chairman Abdul Ghani Salleh, Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador and Armed Forces chief Affendi Buang.

“Sultan Abdullah felt that the Covid-19 pandemic in the country is at a critical level, and that there is a need to proclaim an emergency under Clause (1) of Article 150 of the Federal Constitution,” the statement said.

The Cabinet first recommended a state of emergency to the Agong last October, but failed to obtain royal consent following a meeting by the Malay Rulers.

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