Home English News “Emergency, an assault against democracy” – Ramasamy

“Emergency, an assault against democracy” – Ramasamy



Apart from those who blindly support the administration of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, there is general thinking that the movement control order (MCO) was more than sufficient to address the problems of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, there are some especially those in the influential circles who are arguing that the emergency was a necessary evil to complement the MCO in the on-going war against the pandemic.

However, these individuals are not prepared to argue rationally or scientifically as how emergency measures will complement the efforts taken under the MCO.


Justifying the emergency is not only necessary but a dangerous move that might set an undesirable precedent with dangerous implications for the future.

I would argue that if only the government had taken a combination of measures under the earlier MCO and its subsequent variants, the present MCO might not have been necessary.

The Covid-19 pandemic was quite universal in its impact to the extent that even some of the worst hit countries quickly abandoned the total lockdown to embrace a variety of measures including the introduction of vaccines.

In some of these countries, the emphasis on screening, identifying and isolation were much more effective than Malaysia.

Malaysia seems to a late late entry in terms of screening, isolation and of course the introduction of vaccines.

The Ministry of Heath could only come up with feeble protests here and there as how things were done to combat the virus.

Even during the early stage of the spread of the pandemic, the PN government was more concerned about its political longevity rather than seriously combating the virus.

The request earlier for an emergency was turned by the council of rulers on the grounds that the pandemic situation did not warrant an emergency.

However, things have changed with rise in the pandemic to justify the MCO but what is more to complement it with the promulgation of an emergency that would do away with parliamentary and state assembly sessions in the country among others.

The absence of popular assemblies will entrench the executive ostensibly to wield power to flatten the pandemic curve.

While Muhyiddin took pains to assure that the emergency was not military coup, but it was more than obvious that it was planned and executed to delay his departure from politics.

Before the announcement of the MCO and the emergency, PN was a minority government.
It had lost support to establish a majority because of the desertion of some Umno MPs from its ranks.

A responsible prime minister would have just informed the Yang Dipertuan Agung of the status of his government before making a honourable exit.

But unfortunately, Muhyiddin having come to power through the backdoor lacked the statesmanship credentials to do what was proper. With the pandemic ravaging the country, Muhyiddin had no choice, but admitted his failure by going for the MCO.

In this respect, the MCO is an admission of the failure of the PN government in general and Muhyiddin in particular.

What is more need to be said about the promulgation of an emergency. For Muhyiddin and his backdoor cabinet members, MCO was not sufficient. They had to go for an emergency having convinced the Agung that MCO had to be complemented with an extraordinary order.

If Muhyiddin had lost the majority, it was not automatic that a general election must be held.

He could have conceded defeat leaving the matter to be decided by the Agung.
The monarch then would have invited the leaders of the various political parties with the intention to ascertain who had a majority.

In this way, a new government could have been formed without subjecting the country and its citizens to a general election with the possible exposure to the virus.
In essence, it not about holding election, but about which leader has the support of the majority of MPs.

It is simple, a backdoor government only knows the backdoor. Thus, on this matter, Muhyiddin has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is not fit to be the prime minister of the country, pandemic or not.

There is a growing realisation that Muhyiddin’s resignation is the key to the health and well-being of Malaysians.

Sorry, the emergency was not involved not to complement the efforts of the MCO.
Far from this.

It was predicated on the need to prolong the illegal PN government. It was meant to stifle the opposition both at the national and state levels. If the Covid-19 pandemic is not brought to a manageable level in the next one month or so, then it is clear beyond doubt that the PN government has miserably and tragically failed.

In other words, the emergency meant to assist the government in combating the pandemic was nothing a smokescreen to prolong the stay of the PN government that made a grand entrance through the backdoor early last year.

To those who are justifying the emergency as a necessary measure, must do some real soul searching as to its assault on democracy and decency in the country.

For those who speak in favour of the emergency, there is nothing more humiliating than shameful than this.

The very measure meant to deny participatory democracy is hailed and promoted as something necessary.

Justification of emergency suggests that we don’t need elections, parliament and state assemblies; just give power to the executive to manage the country.

The assault against hard won democratic institutions cannot be compromised or bargained in name of defeating the pandemic.