PETALING JAYA,Jan 13: Putrajaya must ensure that the emergency declared today was only focused on managing the Covid-19 pandemic, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

He also urged the government to fulfil its promise to help the people, particularly in removing the criteria for the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) i-Sinar scheme and for an extension to the automatic loan moratorium.

“Since the prime minister’s rationale for the emergency is only to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, then all powers under the emergency ordinances must be focused on it.

“Throughout the emergency, Umno hopes that human rights, civil freedom, transparency and the rule of law will be upheld,” Zahid said in a statement.

Once the emergency is over, he said, there must be efforts to immediately restore the function of the constitution and the practice of parliamentary democracy.

Umno has been pressuring the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to make way for a snap general election since the new year, with Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz the latest Umno lawmaker to withdraw his support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today.

Nazri follows in the footsteps of Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub who recently announced his withdrawal. Their decision means that the PN government only has 110 MPs in its bloc in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat.

The Umno Supreme Council has deferred any decision on the party’s support for PPBM to its annual general assembly at the end of this month, which might not be held should the movement control order (MCO) in the Klang Valley be extended beyond Jan 26.


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