KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — The situation in the country remains unclear amid the widespread speculations of the government declaring a state of emergency today.
It all started with the special Cabinet meeting held at 9.30 am in Perdana Putra Building, Putrajaya, which was also said to have been attended by Chief of Defence Force General Tan Sri Affendi Buang.
All Cabinet ministers were generally tight-lipped about what transpired during the two-hour special meeting, which was held two days after the weekly Wednesday Cabinet meeting.
No official media statement was made.
Some media outlets began to speculate on the possible emergency measures, while others predicted the possible declaration of a state of emergency in the country amid political uncertainty and the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Netizens were also actively discussing the matter on social media.
Then, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, together with Affendi left for Pahang to meet with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, fueling further speculations on the matter.
At 4.40 pm, Muhyiddin was seen entering Istana Abdulaziz in Kuantan for an audience with the King and only left the palace at 7.10 pm.
At press time, there was still no official media statement made either by Istana Negara or the Prime Minister’s Office, leaving the public in the dark and media outlets continued with their speculations and theories.
All these developments taking place barely 48 hours after the political ceasefire declared by UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government and its efforts to focus on helping the people to face the threats of COVID-19 and economic challenges.
The country’s political arena heated up when UMNO, which holds 39 seats in the 222-seat Parliament, threatened to withdraw its support towards the PN government a few weeks after Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed to have obtained formidable and convincing support to form a new government and take over the helm of the country.
At the close today, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 4.16 points to 1,494.64 from yesterday’s close of 1,498.80.
An analyst said that the market declined today over the uncertainties surrounding both the economic and political developments in the country with retail investors exited the market.
And this is while the country continued to record triple-digit COVID-19 new cases daily, she said.
Constitutional expert Associate Prof Dr Shamrahayu A. Aziz said a state of emergency means a situation related to security, economy and public order that cannot be controlled through a normal administrative system.
The proclamation of emergency is allowed if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is satisfied that a grave emergency exists or is imminent, as enshrined in Article 150 of the Federal Constitution.
Shamrahayu said the three bases or reasons that could be considered by the King in making the proclamation of emergency are whether the security, economic life or public order in the country is threatened.