KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Calls by various quarters for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to set up a body with absolute power such as the National Operations Council (NOC) are not suitable to be implemented at the moment, according to the prime minister’s principal private secretary.
Datuk Dr Marzuki Mohamad said the proposal was a backward step which could impede the government’s plans and the efforts of civil servants, frontliners, industry players and the people to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and bring the country out of the current health and economic crisis.
“The prime minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin), when announcing the implementation of Emergency 2021, has also stressed that the proclamation of Emergency by His Majesty does not mean the country has been placed under an administration with absolute authority like military rule.
“A civilian government is still functioning and the characteristics of this civilian government should be defended throughout the period of the Emergency,” he said in a video on the management of the Emergency which was uploaded on Facebook.
He said the situation in the country now is totally different from that in 1969 when an emergency was declared after racial riots broke out, resulting in a loss of lives.
Marzuki said Malaysia has a functioning Cabinet to deal with the health emergency, which is not a security emergency.
“The Cabinet meets every Wednesday to discuss not only Covid-19 but also the country’s administration, economic management, people’s welfare, finance, security, education, international relations and other matters concerning the country,” he said.
He added that the government is not only managing the pandemic but also the welfare and lives of the people by providing various types of assistance through the relevant ministries and agencies.
These include economic stimulus packages and financial aid, with the latest one being the Pemerkasa Plus package worth RM40 billion, which includes a RM5 billion fiscal injection.
“The delivery of the aid must be continued by the related ministries and agencies under this civilian administration without interruptions from any party which possesses absolute power,” he said. — Bernama