KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — The Opposition parties’ outburst about the nation descending into dictatorship should a state of economic emergency be declared is an irresponsible and reckless act that is most unbecoming of members of parliament, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said.
The Perikatan Nasional (PN) information chief said rather than stand with the government’s efforts in battling the COVID-19 pandemic and revitalise the economy, opposition leaders have chosen to sow fear and resentment amongst the rakyat against the government’s earnest efforts to secure public health and safety.
Mohamed Azmin, who is Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry, said it is only right and proper that all parties stand united behind efforts at mitigating the pandemic and flattening the curve while ensuring minimal disruption to the economy.
“Let us be clear. Our real enemy is COVID-19 and we must appreciate the sacrifices and selfless efforts of our frontliners who have toiled day and night, and still continue to do so, to fight this battle against this deadly virus,” he said in a statement, today.
Yesterday, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was reported as saying that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was bringing the country into “dictatorship and authoritarianism” over rumours that the PN government is seeking to implement emergency measures.
Mohamed Azmin said with the pandemic having taken a turn for the worse, with cases surging to record levels across the world, Malaysia included, the government has been working tirelessly to deal with the new challenges.
He said since the extraordinary surge of cases with the onset of the third wave of transmission, the National Security Council chaired by the Prime Minister has been meeting daily without fail for the last 24 days.
“Together with our health experts, armed forces and internal security personnel as well as the economic advisors, the Prime Minister has been providing decisive leadership while actively deliberating on not just short term contingency measures but mid to long term plans to deal with the crisis holistically.
“It cannot be overstressed that our counter and preemptive measures must go beyond health and economic issues to incorporate questions of border control and the safeguarding of our territorial security,” he said.
Considering the porous nature of territorial boundaries, he said the government will continue to provide all the support needed to the armed forces and police to conduct patrols effectively.
“At the same time, they must be empowered through the constitutional process to execute swift action against all threats including illegal immigrants with high risk of transmitting COVID-19 or other infectious diseases,” he added.
Therefore, Mohamed Azmin calls on all political leaders across all partisan lines to put aside political and other self-interest for the greater good of the health, well-being and prosperity of the nation.