Home English News “The declaration of emergency is illegal” – Mahathir reiterates again

“The declaration of emergency is illegal” – Mahathir reiterates again

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COMMENT BY TUN DR MAHATHIR MOHAMED, FORMER PM AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR LANGKAWI , POSTED ON HIS BLOG CHE DET ON 20TH APRIL 2021

1. We believe in democracy and the rule of law.

2. But by declaring a state of emergency, the rule of the existing laws has been suspended.

3. The declaration itself did not follow the law on the declaration of emergency. The declaration had to be laid before Parliament. This was not done. Therefore the declaration is illegal.

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4. It is also noted that at the time the Prime Minister advised the Agong to declare a state of Emergency, his claim to be the Prime Minister of Malaysia was in doubt.

5. But the Government doesn’t care about its status. The Gazette that it issued makes it sound as if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has taken over the Government and is now its Chief Executive.

6. All action and powers exercised under Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance are in the name of the Agong but His Majesty can authorise any person to act for him. The person concerned is not named but all the actions or exercise of power has clearly been carried out by Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister.

7. In fact even when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong expressedly stated that Parliament may sit during the emergency, the Muhyiddin Government effectively rejected it.

8. It is obvious that the Prime Minister is acting based on the provision in the Ordinance that he and his Cabinet continues to exercise the powers under the constitution. But any action or laws that the Government passes which are in conflict or inconsistent with existing laws, the provision of the ordinance shall prevail and supercede.

9. Clearly the provisions of the Ordinance supersede even the Constitution – the supreme law of the country.

10. Thus, when taking temporary possession or in payment of compensation the Ordinance overrides the Federal Constitution. The Federal Government is protected against any action, suit, prosecution or any other proceeding in any court.

11. The immunity of the Prime Minister and his Government against any legal action is further strengthened by the effective suspension of Parliament. Normally a motion of non-confidence in the Prime Minister if passed in Parliament would result in its overthrow.

12. The only means left is a General Election. By not calling for an election even beyond the five-year term, the Government can remain in power.

13. Already several laws have been promulgated by this Government which supercede even existing laws including Constitutional laws. The supreme laws of the country no longer prevail.

14. The country is now ruled by decree. There is no longer any democracy. The voice of the people in a functioning democracy is via Parliament. But it is not open. The only description we can make of this Government is that it is a dictatorship.

15. And so we see wholesale dismissals, or removals of officers in Government institutions or companies in order to install pro-Government politicians in their places. Income taxes being revised allegedly because of wrong submissions before and corruption charges are being made against individuals who seem to have incurred the displeasure of the Government.

16. Business has also been politicised. Some contracts given during the previous Government have been revised and given to pro-Government individuals and parties. Approvals for projects are only for those which belong to Government supporters.

17. Many business people complain of corruption, of being asked for money up front if a project is to be approved.

18. But is the Emergency due to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic? So far nothing has been done that could not be done under the ordinary laws of the country. Malaysians have never disobeyed any decision to deal with the pandemic. They have accepted the heavy fines and jail terms of ten years without demur.

19. Let us be honest. This declaration of a state of emergency is not about fighting COVID-19. Not at all.

20. It is about politics. It is about a weak Government wanting to stay in power. For the people the price to pay is horrendous. They lose their freedom of speech and their right to change the Government. Many live in fear of being called up for questioning, for detention and harassment.

21. In the meantime the economy is shrinking as the Government grapples with the constraints on normal economic activities.

22. The Government is not even functioning properly as in experienced ministers are not able to deal with the political economic, social and health problems.

23. Wither the rule of law.

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