Time to stop politicking to avoid a govt shutdown

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The reminder of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah that politicians should immediately stop politicking which can threaten the country’s stability, should be viewed seriously by all parties in the interest of the people’s well-being.

The emphasis of the King on Budget 2021 in an Istana Negara statement today should be seen as preventing the possibility of a government shutdown or the government being unable to function due to politicking.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong also said the existing government which has been handling the combat against COVID-19 pandemic well and effectively, can continue to make decisions without the need to declare a state of emergency as proposed.

Research fellow (Law and Constitution) and senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)’s Perdana Centre of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics, Dr Muhammad Fathi Yusof said the focus of all quarters especially politicians should be towards stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“The frank statement of His Majesty is that there is no need for members of the Parliament to continue disrupting the stability of the existing government. He also considers such actions as irresponsible. Apart from that, his reminder on Budget 2021 is also significant. This should be given serious attention,” he told Bernama today.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong after discussing with the Malay Rulers today decided not to declare a state of emergency as proposed by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic said to be spreading fast in the country. So far, Malaysia has recorded 26,565 COVID-19 cases including 9,202 active cases.

The King however reminded all politicians to immediately stop politicking which can threaten the stability of the country’s administration.

The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Muhyiddin is scheduled to table the country’s Budget 2021 next month and it is expected to face attempts by the opposition to topple him including through a motion of no-confidence at Dewan Rakyat.

Political analyst and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) senior lecturer, Dr Syed Agil Alsagoff said the decision of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was timely for the need of the people and country.

He said now it is up to politicians whether government or opposition to prove their political maturity when the people are facing the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.

“It is the time to display unity in the interest of the people. We do not want political turbulence to continue festering in the country. Stay away from confrontational politics. Its time to show political maturity,” he said referring to the tabling of Budget 2021.

Constitutional expert who also the Incumbent of the Institution of Malay Rulers Chair, at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Prof Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz said the statement of Istana Negara showed the trust of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Malay Rulers on the government to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nonetheless, while Al-Sultan Abdullah rejected the implementation of emergency, she said the King also gave a reminder to politicians so as not to threaten the stability of the country’s administration.

“Tuanku also hinted on the importance of the country’s 2021 budget for the people. The government and opposition should look at the matter.

“(If we see) the ultimate objective (in the Istana Negara statement) is the well-being and welfare of the people,” said Shamrahayu who also stressed that if all parties were to practise a gentleman’s attitude in politics, then, they should heed the advice of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM) Law lecturer, Prof Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmod said from the perspective of the Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the discretion to agree or disagree on declaring a state of emergency.

According to him, the move taken by Al-Sultan Abdullah to discuss with the Malay Rulers is a step forward to ensure the institution of rulers plays an important role in determining the future direction of the government.

“The decision made (by Agong) was in line with the principle of prioritising the people’s interest in whatever decision made.

“Even though the government is able to propose an emergency, it is the decision of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong which called for the government to take proactive measures to address the problem,” he said. BERNAMA

Tok Mat: Focus on coronavirus and economy, not politicking

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