Monday, February 22, 2021

Set aside political differences, remember frontliners’ sacrifice, Agong says

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Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has again called on Malaysians to ignore their political differences, saying the worsening Covid-19 situation nationwide demands that they show a spirit of loyalty and humanity in fighting the pandemic which has so far claimed more than 600 lives.

He also expressed regret that a section of Malaysians are still not paying heed to health SOPs, reminding the public of the sacrifices made by frontliners in battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Sultan Abdullah urges the people to show their solidarity and strong support for frontliners by working with each other to adhere to the discipline of complying with all orders set by the government and the SOPs,” Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, the Comptroller of the Royal Household, said in a statement released by Istana Negara.

The statement comes as Malaysia enters the second week of phase two of the movement control order (MCO), under a state of emergency invoked by Sultan Abdullah.

Paying tribute to frontliners, Sultan Abdullah said he understood the great challenge they face with four-digit figures in new cases reported daily last month.

“In the name of duty, the heroes of the nation are not only willing to risk their lives to carry out the trust given to them, they have also been forced to stay away from their families since the outbreak of this pandemic.

“They are exhausted, not only physically, but also mentally,” said the royal statement.

The Agong expressed confidence that Malaysia would succeed in flattening the curve in daily cases, adding that this would ease the burden of frontliners.

The sharp spike in daily cases which began in the aftermath of the Sabah election in September has forced health authorities to warn of a collapse of the public health system which is treating tens of thousands of Covid-19 patients.

The Agong last week used his constitutional powers to declare a state of emergency, under which Parliament and elections are suspended, a move seen as a bid to prevent snap polls in the face of several Umno MPs threatening to quit the ruling bloc to bring down Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.

Muhyiddin had assured that a civilian government would remain despite the state of emergency which is to end on Aug 1.

But Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Anwar Ibrahim has launched a campaign to get the Agong to rescind the state of emergency, and vows to challenge it in court.

Several PH leaders have also threatened to boycott a bipartisan committee to supervise the battle against the pandemic throughout the emergency period.

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