COMMENT | The emergency flop reveals many inner insecurities

James Chai

Modified 29 Oct 2020, 8:47 am

COMMENT | Let’s not forget one thing. Even if the chief architects of the emergency rule – Muhyiddin Yassin, Azmin Ali and Hamzah Zainudin – were successful, they would have only gone for a semi-emergency. It would be an emergency for politics only. Economic and social activities were supposed to carry on.

The cabinet was even contemplating not calling it an “emergency” – simply something Covid-related. To not spook the market.

The irony is that the intention of protecting the economy and society by maintaining a semblance of normalcy could have failed miserably in a semi-emergency rule anyway. Just by hearing something drastic as the emergency (whatever it is called) would be imposed, investors would have fled the country. They have been fleeing since the first quarter of 2020.

To the minds of most Malaysians, declaring a semi-emergency that suspends only political activities is the most explicit message yet: Politicians are not afraid to use any tool at their disposal for their private benefit. It would have been overkill, an exaggeration, a how-dare-you. “Abuse of power” has finally met its match.

But more to that is what it reveals about the chief architects of this blunder.

Under three situations of a full-blown emergency, a semi-emergency, or a failed-emergency, there is almost no strategic and sustainable benefit to the chief architects. Above all, what this move has indicated was a loud cry of desperation by insecure men who would do anything to stay above water...

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