By Hakim Mahari
KUALA LUMPUR, 12 January 2021: The King has proclaimed a state of emergency nationwide from Tuesday (12 January) until 1st August 2021 as a proactive measure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah agreed to the decision after a meeting with Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday (11 January).
“Al-Sultan Abdullah is of the opinion that the transmission of COVID-19 is at a critical stage and there is a need for a declaration of the Proclamation of a State of Emergency under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution,” said Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara, Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin.
He said in a statement on Tuesday that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decreed that the emergency be in force up to 1st August or earlier if the number of COVID-19 cases can be effectively controlled and brought down effectively.
Ahmad Fadil said that the proclamation was made for the safety of the people and in the interests of the nation.
“It is based on the COVID-19 statistics, especially the constraints faced by the logistics in facilities in states as was presented during the audiences,” said Ahmad Fadil.
Ahmad Fadil said that according to the statistics, patients have filled more than 70% of the beds in 15 COVID-19 hospitals.
He said that in the Klang Valley, the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital and University Malaya Medical Centre have reached 100% and Sungai Buloh Hospital is at 83%.
“ICU beds for COVID-19 patients in Perak, Selangor, Melaka, Terengganu and Sarawak have reached more than 70%,” said Ahmad Fadil.
He added that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong made the proclamation after having consulted the Malay Rulers, top government agencies and the civil service.
Ahmad Fadil said that besides Muhyiddin, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also received briefing from Chief Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, Royal Malaysian Air Force Chief Jen Tan Sri Affendi Buang, Health Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and Election Commission Chief Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh.
“I urge the people to remain calm and strong to face this state of emergency and the movement control order for our own safety and interest,” said Ahmad Fadil.
He added that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also consented to a government proposal to set up an independent committee comprising government and opposition MPs as well as health experts to manage the COVID-19 situation.
“This Independent Committee will make recommendations to His Majesty if it deems fit that the emergency can be withdrawn much earlier,” said Ahmad Fadil.
He further said that the King is very concerned of the flood situation affecting a number of states.
“The King expressed his confidence that with the spirit and cooperation of the people as shown during the movement control order last year, we will once again be able to control the transmission of the COVID-19 effectively,” said Ahmad Fadil.
He added that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong expressed hope that the vaccine that will be received in the near future will further flatten the curve and cut the chain of COVID-19 transmission.
“He also takes this opportunity to express his highest appreciation to the front liners who are risking their lives and working endlessly in carrying out their duties to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ahmad Fadil, stating that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also urged everyone to pray for a speedy end to the pandemic and floods.***