Senior minister Mohamed Azmin Ali says the government’s focus right now is on handling the Covid-19 crisis and restoring the economy, not the impending general election.
He also said the government’s considerations are based on data and science.
“The health ministry has said that the situation might be more controlled in the third quarter of the year, following the vaccination programme,” he told reporters at Batu Caves in Gombak last night where he had attended the tarawih prayers with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
“When more people are vaccinated, the spread of infections might slow. Perhaps we will be able to end the emergency period on Aug 1,” he added, in response to those opposing the state of emergency declared in January.
He did not deny their right to present a petition on the matter to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong but said the government had formed a special independent committee on the emergency to allow the opposition to voice their recommendations.
“They should go through this committee because it is free of any interference by the executive,” he said.
“Give the feedback directly to the Agong on whether the emergency should end on Aug 1 or otherwise. Don’t play too much with emotions or with extreme politics,” the Gombak MP added.
The committee of the Tamat Darurat movement will send a second letter to the king at Istana Negara today, to call for an end to the state of emergency.
Those invited to join the delegation include former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
Azmin said Parliament sittings would resume once the government succeeds in bringing the Covid-19 situation under control.
“Our concern is the emergence of new variants,” he said. “We don’t know if these variants will lead to a fourth wave of infections.
“We don’t want a repeat of infections to the point where we are forced to take drastic measures.”
He also voiced confidence that the majority of people understand the need for the emergency declaration implemented by the government.