Dr Yii: There are other ways to curb Covid-19, politicking instead of declaring emergency

Dr Kelvin Yii (file photo)

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Jan 13: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has proposed alternative measures to “curb the Covid-19 pandemic and to stop politicking” as opposed to the declaration of an emergency.
He outlined that emergency has far-reaching consequences to the country’s economy and the people adding that it also encroached into state powers.

Dr Yii believed the declaration of a state of emergency by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah proposed by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was not the best solution to solve the health and political crisis in the country.

“It has over-reaching powers even into powers conferred to the states, risk abuses of power.

“(An) emergency conferred broad legislative powers on the executive which enables it to override numerous constitutional safeguards including fundamental liberties, the federal-state separation of powers, and ordinary protections against the abuse of power infringement of personal liberties…etc.

“Certain state powers has already been encroached for instance halting the State Assembly meeting, or even powers of the chief ministers to dissolve assembly..etc,” he said in a press statement.

Dr Yii opined that the emergency has affected foreign investors’ confidence and businesses while it has also created business uncertainties.

He noted that emergency has also affected the performance of Malaysia’s stock market and currency which fell yesterday after the emergency was announced.

He also noted that the Parliament is suspended following the declaration of an emergency.

Thus, he asserted that the suspension of the Dewan Rakyat meant that the prime minister can enact laws and spend public money without scrutiny from elected MPs.

With the suspension of the Parliament, he noted people’s plight could not be raised and proper policy discussion could not be done to address certain issues.

While Dr Yii who is a member of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak agreed that there should not be an election during the Covid-19 pandemic, he also opined that there were better alternatives that Muhyiddin could implement to curb the coronavirus and stop politicking by politicians rather than declaring a state of emergency for Malaysia.

He believed Muhyiddin could have utilised other options to manage the Covid-19 and political situation in the country without far-reaching consequences.

Dr Yii noted that many countries around the world have successfully contained the Covid-19 pandemic without a state of emergency being declared.

He believed the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act (Act 342) already gave powers to the government and is sufficient to curb the spread of the disease.

Besides, he noted Movement Control Order (MCO) or Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) has been declared to “flatten the curve” of Covid-19 and thus there is no need for an emergency for the country.

As a move to reduce politicking, Dr Yii suggested Muhyiddin work together with the opposition to come up with an understanding of the political situation in the country.

“The ones trying to trigger an election are their own coalition partners, not the opposition,” he asserted. —DayakDaily