It’s a health emergency rather than political expediency, says analyst

The emergency declaration is not meant to ensure Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin continues to cling on to power, says Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Assoc Prof Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk.

Azeem said the emergency will provide political stability that has been sorely lacking.

“We need this stability and stop vicious politicking to address Covid-19.”

“We have Umno politicians who have withdrawn support for Perikatan Nasional and there are reports of more withdrawals,” he said.

On claims that the emergency declaration was not necessary as a movement control order had been declared on Monday, and it was a last bid for Muhyiddin to cling on to power, Azeem said it should be viewed from a wider perspective.

“Although the present government is hanging by a thread, most level-headed people would agree it would be suicidal to hold a general election in the next two months… even the public does not want a GE.

“Unlike in October, when the Agong turned down Muhyiddin’s request for an emergency to be declared, this time around the number of cases is higher and our healthcare facilities can no longer cope. These are all factors which were surely taken into consideration.”

Azeem who is USM’s Centre for Policy Research and International Studies Director, said Malaysians are sick of politicking from all sides – Pakatan Harapan, Pakatan Nasional and even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but it is questionable if politicians are concerned about the welfare of the people.

“We are not just facing a pandemic but also flooding and it is probably the worst ever, yet some are continuously bickering on how seats (for the election) should be allocated and this is diverting from the real issue – the people’s welfare.

“I believe politicians will continue to question the legitimacy of the emergency throughout the eight months.”

Azeem also said Malaysia is now running on autopilot and no one knows where we are heading

“We are in a health and economic crisis but it is not being addressed by anyone. I don’t see any political party suggesting how to address the economic meltdown and tackle unemployment,” he said.

“Vietnam is rising and they will be an upper middle class country before we get there.”

However, he stressed Malaysians cannot expect much in the next eight months.

“We do not know if the economy will rebound or if there will be political stability. We will also not know which coalition will obtain a strong majority in the next general election.

“We will probably see a coalition government but how all this will materialise, will only be seen after the 15th general election.”