An Independent Committee of MPs and healthcare experts will be formed to advise the Agong.
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Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has assented to declaring a State of Emergency across Malaysia that will last till August 1 but could end earlier based on the advice of an Independent Committee of Parliamentarians and relevant health experts.
The assent was given after Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin briefed the Agong at 5.30pm yesterday following a Cabinet meeting but in a statement from Istana Negara, Comptroller of the Royal Household for Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said that the decision was made after also consulting with:
- Secretary General Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali,
- Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun,
- Health Director General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah,
- Election Commission chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh,
- Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, and
- Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang.
“Al-Sultan Abdullah is of the opinion that the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country is at a very critical level and there is a need for a Proclamation of Emergency based on Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution.”
“It must also be announced that this assent also took into consideration the negotiations between His Royal Highness and the Malay Rulers.
“This assent also takes into consideration the personal safety of the people and the national interest. It is also based on current Covid-19 statistics, especially the limitations of logistical facilities of the states which were presented during the briefing,” read the statement by Ahmad Fadil.
While new cases are being reported in the thousands daily, beds at 15 Covid-19 designated hospitals nationwide are already at an average of 70% occupancy rate for non-Intensive Care Units (ICU).
But things are far worse in the Klang Valley where Covid-19 designated beds at Hospital Kuala Lumpur and University Malaya Medical Centre are at 100% occupancy and Hospital Sungai Buloh is at 83% occupancy.
ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in Perak, Selangor, Melaka, Terengganu and Sarawak are also above 70%, read the statement from Istana Negara.
“Al-Sultan Abdullah also assented to the government’s suggestion for the formation of an Independent Committee which will consist of Parliamentarians from the Ruling Government and Opposition as well as related healthcare experts.”
This is the committee that could advise the Agong to end the Emergency prior to August 1.
The Agong was also concerned regarding effect of the recent floods and the rising number of Covid cases.
He advised the people to remain calm, courageous and persevere in facing this Emergency, and follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) during the Movement Control Order (MCO).
He also took the opportunity to thank the frontliners who were shouldering the burden of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic here in Malaysia.
Hamzah is the Editor of TRP. He was formerly a hard-news journalist who reported on politics, did investigative work, and occasionally went undercover. He now spends his days sitting at a desk, checking grammar and fielding calls from PR companies, which is totally fine and fulfilling. For sure. Yeah. He's also married with kids now so his wife and mother said he can't do risky things anymore.