In keeping with the Prime Minister’s commitment to uphold good governance, will he agree to allow Parliament and the State Assemblies to function to spearhead an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in the war against the third wave of Covid-19 epidemic

The differences and incongruities between the re-imposition of a full movement control order (MCO) on eight states and territories, namely Penang, Selangor, Malacca, Johor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur Putrajaya and Labuan; conditional MCO on another six states namely Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah,Terengganu and Kelantan and the continuation of recovery MCO on two states namely Perlis and Sarawak for two weeks from January 13-26 as announced by the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday and today’s proclamation of emergency until August 1 raises many questions.

Firstly, why the vast difference in time-span between the two decisions.

Does this mean that the government has no confidence of the two-week re-imposition of MCO on eight states and territories and the conditional MCO on six states while continuing the recovery MCO for two states would have the effect to put the brakes on the surge of Covid-19 infections and deaths?

Despite the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, are we heading in the trajectory of the projections of the Health Ministry where daily increase of new Covid-19 cases could be up to 5,000 cases in the second week of April and up to 8,000 cases a day by the end of May?

Secondly, Muhyiddin today said that this is no military coup, that the civilian government will continue to function and gave an assurance that the judiciary will also continue to carry out its duty without any intervention from his government.

As Malaysia practises the doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, can the Prime Minister also give an assurance that his government would not interfere with the legislative and scrutiny function of Parliament?

Muhyiddin should note that other countries have declared states of emergency to combat the Covid-19 pandemic without suspending their Parliaments or legislatures. This is in fact a test of the government’s commitment to parliamentary democracy. Why should Malaysia be an exception?

Furthermore, other countries’ declaration of emergency to combat the Covid-19 pandemic do not last so long as close to seven months. Why is this so?

Muhyiddin said the government needed certain powers to effectively combat the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

Muhyiddin should have no worries on this score, as I have no doubt that Parliament will not obstruct the passage of legislation to give the government all the necessary powers to effectively combat the Covid-19 epidemic, as all Malaysians are united in the paramount task to win the war against Covid-19 in Malaysia.

In his address this morning, Muhyiddin assured that he would uphold the principles and practices of good governance.

In keeping with his commitment to uphold good governance, is Muhyiddin prepared to allow Parliament and the State Assemblies to function to spearhead an “all-of-government” and “whole-of-society” strategy and approach in the war against the Covid-19 epidemic, an aspect which had been conspicuously absent in the past 11 months of the Covid-19 pandemic?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri