We do not want political instability. But we do not want an emergency either!


Most Malaysians do not want a general elections to be called in the next 3 months. We have seen how the Sabah state elections has created a huge increase in the number of cases that has led to EMCOs, partial lockdowns and economic difficulties for millions of families. Malaysians on the whole do not want the Covid situation to get further out of control.

Many feel that even if DS Anwar Ibrahim has the numbers now to win a no-confidence vote against TS Muhiyiddin Yasin, the government he will form will not be stable as the non PH members of his coalition are the same MPs who initially offered support to TS Muhiyiddin. There is every chance that they will pull the rug from under DS Anwar when they think the time is right for them to precipitate a general elections.

Given the anxiety that political tactics by DS Anwar and his parliamentary supporters might lead to a General Elections before the Covid spike is under proper control, makes the option of a 6-month Emergency palatable to quite a number of Malaysians. They agree that “a grave emergency that threatens the security and economic life of the Federation” (Article 150(1) of the Federal Constitution) does exist at this time.

However there are many Malaysians who do not want Parliament to be suspended for 6 months. The battle to contain Covid is a complex one and we need the parliamentary opposition to ask questions, provide alternative suggestions and generally provide the check and balances that our decision makers need. An Emergency would silence Parliament and this crucial platform where government policies and programs can be debated will cease to exist for the the duration of the Emergency. That would be a loss to all of us. Also, an Emergency would concentrate power in the executive, and this tends to encourage authoritarian and repressive tendencies in government. An Emergency would represent an erosion of the democratic rights of Malaysians.

There is a way out of this impasse. But the window for it is quite narrow. It requires the leaders of the Pakatan Harapan parties to give their solemn pledge to the YDPA and the nation that they will not attempt to bring down the Perikatan government for the next 6 months – that they will not propose any no-confidence motion, nor will they cause a defeat of the 2021 Budget. It also requires TSMY to agree that his government will not obstruct a no-confidence motion if that is brought after the completion of the 6 month period.

An agreement as sketched above would serve multiple purposes – it will remove the risks of calling a GE in the near future while at the same time allowing Parliament to play a proper role in charting a course in this new-normal” Covid era. It is probably the best possible outcome at this point in time. The question is whether we have sufficient statesmen in positions of leadership to agree to this consensus.

Dr.Jeyakumar Devaraj.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia

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