KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 12): Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has consented to declaring a state of emergency until Aug 1, 2021 to control the spread of Covid-19.
In a statement, Istana Negara's Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Indera Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the state of emergency may be declared ended earlier if the number of daily positive Covid-19 cases found can be brought under control and lowered effectively.
"Al-Sultan Abdullah has also consented to the suggestion by the government for the formation of an independent committee that will comprise Members of Parliament (MPs) from the government and opposition as well as relevant health experts. This Independent committee will recommend to the King if the state of emergency can be ended earlier," he said.
According to Ahmad Fadil, the King granted an audience to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday, where the premier shared that the Cabinet had agreed that a state of emergency be declared as a proactive measure to curb and flatten the curve of daily new Covid-19 cases that had continuously reached four digits since December.
The King was also briefed by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and Chief of Defence Forces Tan Sri Affendi Buang.
"Thus, Al-Sultan was of the view that the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in this country is at a very critical stage and there is a need to proclaim the state of emergency under Clause (1), Article 150 of the Federal Constitution," he said.
He added that the King also consented after taking into consideration discussions with the Conference of Rulers.
"The consent takes into account personal safety of the people and national interest. It is also based on the latest Covid-19 statistics, especially limitations on logisitical facilities based on the states that were presented during the briefing.
"Based on the statistics, 15 Covid-19 hospitals have their Covid-19 bed usage (non-ICU) levels exceeding 70%. In the Klang Valley, the usage of ICU beds by Covid-19 patients in Hospital Kuala Lumpur and the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre has reached 100%, while at the Sungai Buloh Hospital, it is 83%.
"The level of bed usage in the ICU (intensive care unit) for Covid-19 patients in Perak, Selangor, Melaka, Terengganu and Sarawak has meanwhile exceeded 70%," added Ahmad Fadli.
The King expressed his utmost concern towards the safety of the people, especially those facing floods in a number of states.
"His Majesty expressed his anger at the effects of the floods and the sudden increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in this country. If it is not controlled effectively, it will adversely affect the health of the people and national prosperity.
"Thus, Al-Sultan Abdullah advises the people to stay calm, resilient and tenacious in facing the state of emergency and movement control order (MCO) for our shared safety and interests," he said.
The King also urged the people to be disciplined in following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and orders by the government and its agencies during the state of emergency and MCO, and is confident that the country can once again effectively stop the spread of Covid-19.
Yesterday, Muhyiddin announced that the government had reinstated the MCO in the states of Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor and Sabah as well as the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan for a two-week period starting from tomorrow (Jan 13).
Meanwhile, the conditional MCO (CMCO) will be enforced in six other states — Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan — while Perlis and Sarawak will be under the recovery MCO (RMCO) during the same period.