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25th October 2020

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet’s proposal to invoke an emergency rule purportedly due to the spike in Covid-19 infection and citing the reason that people do not want an election, is absurd, ill-conceived, and insincere.  

When news broke out on a proposal by the cabinet to place the nation under emergency, it caused an unprecedented public outcry.  There were incessant calls by citizens of all levels of society to denounce the proposal, as the word emergency conjures a sense of uncertainty, fear and insecurity that is likely to affect the daily lives of citizens.  

Several of our learned legal minds have given comprehensive views against invoking the emergency rule, as well as numerous NGOs voicing disagreement. Patriot stands with them. 

A forgone conclusion if an emergency is imposed is that our already struggling economy will go into a tailspin spiraling to a crash. Business and economic indicators will be flashing red – more bankruptcies, unemployment, retrenchment, foreclosure, loans default, higher private debt, stock market crash, and downgrading of our economy by rating agencies. Besides, there will be worsening social ills like more thefts, burglaries, and increased financial and emotional constraint faced by families. Families relying on handouts will get worse face more hardship.  

Merely to attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus infection by imposing emergency rule and justifying it by saying the people are against having elections; how moronic. Certainly, there are much better ways to combat the current spike in the infection, like specific locality lockdown or partial lockdown. Implementing mitigation strategy had at time haphazard and showed dual standard, causing distrust towards politicians. Most Malaysians is law abiding and conform to regulations imposed.  

Combatting the scourge of this epidemic requires total involvement and support from all parties, creeds and colours. We have capable and intelligent people from without those in the ruling circle. The government leadership must work hard on its trust deficit and reach out with a sincere hand.    

Furthermore, what good can the National Security Council led by the prime minister himself offer in an emergency rule when the actual problem lies in the motive and sincerity of the government leadership in calling for an emergency rule? 

BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd) 
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebansaan