Substantial powers under emergency, questions remain
Published:  Jan 15, 2021 10:46 AM
Updated: 5:08 AM

The details of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 which is to be applied retroactively from Jan 11, 2021 have been made public by the Attorney-General's Chambers and provides the executive with sweeping powers as indicated by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in his announcement on Jan 12.

The Ordinance covers a range of governance issues including the suspension of parliamentary and state elections, the power of the executive to make regulations, the establishment of an independent special committee, the provision for temporary seizures of assets and resources, additional powers to the armed forces and special powers to directions for treatment, immunization, isolation, observation or surveillance (in relation to Covid-19).

Among the questions posed by the document which is promulgated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on Jan 14, is that it does not appear to have a date of termination and does not state a timeframe for when the powers will cease to apply.

Notably, those who violate the provisions for temporary seizures of assets and resources will be liable to a fine of RM5 million or 10 years' jail or both.

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