KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — The government is responsible for explaining to the people the health action plan if an emergency has to be declared following the worsening COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Federal Constitution expert Assoc. Prof Dr Shamrahayu Abd Aziz said the action was to ensure the people would not be kept in the dark.
“If the government wants to declare an emergency, obviously it should be seen from the plan to combat COVID-19 which is said to be the cause (to declare emergency)…if the reason is over the spread of COVID-19 (to declare emergency) , then we need to look at the action of the government.
“The government should also be responsible to explain to the people what is the plan of action which would be carried out to handle the issue,” she said when interviewed by Bernama TV here today. Commenting on the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to declare a state of emergency, Shamrahayu explained there are two views on the matter.
She said the first view involved the decision in the case of Teh Cheng Poh by the Privy Council in 1979 which stated that the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare an emergency was on the advice of the Cabinet.
But in 1981, an amendment was made to the Federal Constitution by inserting Clause 8 into Article 150 of the Federal Constitution in which actions taken by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the declaration of emergency cannot be questioned in court, she explained.
“The power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may also declare an end to an emergency via a resolution passed by Parliament.
“For example what happened in 2011, when the government at that time withdrew the proclamation of emergency as well as emergency law, it means it has to go through Parliament,” she said.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was today granted an audience by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Abdulaziz in Kuantan after chairing a special Cabinet meeting at Perdana Putra, Putrajaya believed to discuss current issues.