PETALING JAYA: A political analyst says Anwar Ibrahim’s move to challenge the proclamation of emergency in court gives the perception that the opposition leader prioritises politics over the people’s welfare.
Azmi Hassan, formerly of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, said the opposition has only been criticising the government’s management of the pandemic without offering solutions on how to better manage the crisis.
“In the US, when Joe Biden criticises Donald Trump over the pandemic, Biden gives alternative suggestions. That’s what the people want, the opposition’s alternatives.
“But, sadly, that hope has not been made use of by Anwar. Is the opposition also clueless about how to manage the pandemic?” he told FMT.
Azmi said Anwar’s decision to challenge the emergency proclamation in court was akin to challenging the wisdom of the King. “But if the strategy is to plead with the Agong (to rescind the proclamation), that’s acceptable.”
He acknowledged that the proclamation of emergency might have a political element to it, with the aim of preserving the government, but said the opposition was also at fault over its calls for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign.
“Why didn’t they raise the same issue when an emergency was proclaimed in Batu Sapi and Gerik? The reason is similar, which is to delay the by-elections in order to prevent the pandemic situation from worsening,” he said.
Anwar had recently written to all MPs, urging them to write to the King to plead with him to revoke the proclamation and call for a parliamentary sitting as soon as possible.
He had expressed hope that the King would consider their request to revoke the order and direct a Parliament sitting before Jan 31 to debate the need for an emergency and matters related to Covid-19 and the economic crisis.
Later, he said he would take the government to court to challenge the emergency, describing it as an “egregious abuse of power”.
On Jan 12, the King declared an emergency on the advice of the prime minister to last until Aug 1, or an earlier date, depending on the Covid-19 situation. This came a day before the second movement control order was enforced.