Thursday, February 11, 2021

Anwar claims ‘majority MPs’ wrote to palace on emergency, says govt failed to contain pandemic

The PKR leader also appears to back a call by former PM Najib Razak for a full lockdown of the industrial sector.

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PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim claims that a “majority” of MPs from both sides of the divide have written to the palace, more than a week after he launched a campaign urging them to send letters to the Agong to revoke the emergency proclamation.

“The government has not responded, but only given a perception that we are questioning the Agong’s decision.

“They are trying to hide behind the palace,” he said today in a live session on Facebook, in which he also announced that he was filing an affidavit to protest the suspension of parliamentary sittings during the emergency period.

He said the affidavit was not about calling for the revocation of the emergency, saying it would also stop claims that he is questioning the Agong’s constitutional powers.

“I believe the palace will be able to study this and will not be easily duped by political games,” he said.

MalaysiaNow has been unable to independently verify the claim.

On Jan 14, Anwar told MPs that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s move to declare a Covid-19 emergency was not valid, and that the movement control order (MCO) was enough to fight the pandemic.

He said the Agong should cancel the emergency declaration and order for a parliamentary session at the end of this month.

He had also prepared a draft letter to guide MPs when they write to the palace, telling them to do so by Jan 15.

‘Why no full lockdown?’

Meanwhile, Anwar appeared to back a call by former prime minister Najib Razak for a full lockdown on the manufacturing and construction sectors, and accused authorities of inconsistency in enforcing SOPs to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in the industrial sector.

“The government’s handling of the MCO especially since its outbreak after the Sabah election has been utterly disorganised and inconsistent,” he said.

Yesterday, Najib said the government should ban the operations of factories and construction sectors to arrest the spike in daily infections.

Anwar referred to a claim by the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Eurocham) that government officials had during a meeting acknowledged the high risk of infections posed by the industrial sector and were mulling a total lockdown.

The chambers has since clarified that no such proposal was mentioned during the meeting, after several media outlets reported the contents of a letter Eurocham issued to its members.

But Anwar said the letter showed that the government was risking more infections by allowing industries to remain open during the MCO.

“Under what pretense does the government believe that the current MCO which does not speficially close down those sectors can successfully reduce the spread of Covid-19?

“There is no clarity. Leaving highly contagious sectors open serves only to prolong the MCO period at the expense of millions of Malaysians who are doing their best to slow the spread,” he said.

At the same time, Anwar hit out at Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz for saying the MCO would not have a major economic impact, saying it was “totally misleading”, “irresponsible” and “nothing more than lies”.

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