Malaysia expected to announce state of emergency

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR ONLINE) – A state of emergency is expected to be announced in a move to step up the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic that spiked sharply over the past one week, as well as to put a stop to political squabbles.

However, a source confirmed there would be no announcement last night of the proclamation of a state of emergency as expected earlier.

The source could not say when Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would make the announcement.

“Nothing tonight. Confirmed,” said the source.

Earlier, it was reported that Muhyiddin was expected to announce a state of emergency after an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

Muhyiddin left the Istana Abdulaziz in Kuantan after a two-hour meeting with the King.

This audience was said to communicate the Cabinet decision to propose the declaration of an emergency following its special meeting that ended at around 1pm yesterday.

Earlier, highly placed sources told The Star said Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah would have the final say as to when the state of emergency will take effect.

“His Majesty is expected to meet his brother Rulers soon to get their views too but suffice to say, they will support any decision made by the King,” the source said.

Officials at Putrajaya emphasised that only political activities would be affected by any state of emergency being declared. “It will be business as usual. Economic activities will carry on and there will be no curfews.

“In a nutshell, life goes on as we know it. This is for the good of the country in fighting Covid-19,” the source said.