Putting the emergency in context

Modified 12 Jan 2021, 3:56 pm

Good morning, we're in the first nationwide emergency in 52 years. Let's make sense of this historic development.

Key Highlights

  • The politics of emergency

  • Umno discovers human rights

  • MCO 2.0 SOPs

The politics of emergency

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin secured a state of national emergency. Let's skip the oft-repeated Covid-19 narrative and dissect the political context.

Umno MPs, the latest being Nazri Aziz, has been renouncing Muhyiddin to force him into a general election. The PM acknowledged this in his emergency speech.

Nazri's move left Muhyiddin with a minority government (109 out of 220 MPs), but that doesn't matter anymore. All of Umno can now quit Perikatan Nasional, and Muhyiddin will still be prime minister.

The prime minister's emergency powers can fight Covid-19 but also do much more. The check and balance, until the emergency expires in August, is Muhyiddin's own

Muhyiddin can now govern by
decree, creating laws without Parliament. His secure position means he won't need to resort to anything drastic, lest investors become spooked.


Muhyiddin: Emergency not a military coup
He says the civilian gov't will be retained.
SMEs: Emergency curbs politics, not business
They are more worried about MCO 2.0.
No check on PM's powers as Parliament suspended
Any ordinances can be created, even if against the constitution.

Umno discovers human rights

Umno had been rattling Muhyiddin for months. It blew its last chance of moving against the Bersatu prime minister in Budget 2021 and is now cornered.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's first statement after the emergency was to urge Muhyiddin to uphold human rights.

This is the same man, who as the home minister, branded human rights activists who fought against detention without trial as "defenders of crime".

Even Umno supreme council leader Mohd Razlan Rafii invoked human rights when Muhyiddin warned against undermining the government's efforts to fight Covid-19.

With Muhyiddin's wide powers, it's not something to be taken lightly. Unfortunately for Umno leaders facing graft trials, Muhyiddin did not suspend the judiciary.


Umno hopes human rights upheld during emergency
It also wants democracy restored soon.
Umno leader cries human rights violation over PM's 'warning'
He says subjective interpretation can lead to abuse.
Stern action against those who disrupt Covid-19 fight
The PM issues a 'strong warning'.


MCO 2.0 SOPs

The second movement control order (MCO 2.0) is now in force, and the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are out.

alaysiakini compiles here some resources to help you navigate the MCO 2.0.

MCO 2.0: Penang, Selangor, Malacca, Johor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Labuan

Conditional MCO: Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan

Recovery MCO: Perlis, Sarawak


Travel leeway for those who already bought tickets
This includes bus and flight tickets bought before MCO 2.0.
Minister tells why private kindergartens still open under MCO
He says this is to accommodate working parents.
Home quarantine for mild Covid-19 cases - minister
Public hospitals are running out of capacity.


A daily glance at Covid-19

  • 3,309 new cases yesterday (Jan 12), another new record. Previous record was on Jan 7 with 3,027 cases.

  • Covid-19 patients under treatment hit 30,390, surpassing the 28,674 available beds.

  • Penang breach 300 cases and Perak above 200 cases for the first time during the third wave.

  • Patients under intensive care at another new record high of 190.

  • Malaysiakini continues to compile daily locations affected by Covid-19 so you can take precautions.

What else is happening?

  • Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin is the fourth cabinet member to be diagnosed with Covid-19.

  • The government mulls invoking its new emergency powers to enforce stiffer penalties against Covid-19 SOP violations.

  • Phamarniaga Berhad to manufacturer China's Sinovac vaccine in Malaysia.


DAP: No collaboration with Umno 
Umno rebel Annuar Musa claimed there was a secret meeting.
Speaker insists MPs can still check and balance
However, the PAC chief says emergency makes it untenable.
Sultan Nazrin: Don't trust people with low morality
He says such people tarnish Islam.


What are people saying?

Did democracy cause Covid-19 surge?
By Bersih 2.0 et al
'Malay' concept deserves clarification
By Terence Netto
Here’s how not to mess up the new MCO
By Dr Musa Mohd Nordin



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