King Proclaims Emergency To Contain COVID-19

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today proclaimed an emergency that will be enforced up to Aug 1 as a proactive measure to contain the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia.

Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja of Istana Negara, Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, said in a statement that His Majesty decreed that the emergency be in force up to that date, or earlier if the number of positive COVID-19 cases can be effectively controlled and reduced.

Al-Sultan Abdullah also consented to a government proposal to set up an independent committee comprising government and opposition MPs as well as health experts to manage the COVID-19 situation, he said.

“This Independent Committee will make recommendations to His Majesty if it deems fit that the emergency can be withdrawn much earlier (than Aug 1),” he said.

Ahmad Fadil said His Majesty had consulted the Malay Rulers on the proclamation of emergency.

He said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, at an audience at 5.30 pm yesterday, presented Al-Sultan Abdullah the decision of the Cabinet proposing the proclamation of emergency to contain COVID-19 and flatten the curve in view of the number of cases having reached four digits.

Besides the explanation by the prime minister, His Majesty was also briefed by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali; Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun; Chief of Defence Forces Tan Sri Affendi Buang; Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador; Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and Election Commission Chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh, he said.

“Al-Sultan Abdullah felt that the COVID-19 pandemic in the country is at a very critical level and there is a need to proclaim an emergency under Clause (1) of Article 150 of the Federal Constitution,” he said.

Clause (1) of Article 150 of the Federal Constitution states: “If the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that a grave emergency exists whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the Federation or any part thereof is threatened, he may issue a Proclamation of Emergency making therein a declaration to that effect”.