Elections to Follow COVID-19 Emergency, Malaysian PM Promises

AdvertisementMalaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has promised to lift a controversial state of emergency and hold elections as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic eases up, he said today. In a speech marking the first anniversary of his appointment as prime minister, the leader claimed that his embattled administration has successfully fended off “the double whammy of health and economic crises.”“This is the first time in our history that an emergency has a deadline,” Muhyiddin said in the nationally televised address. “Once the pandemic is over, which I hope will be very soon, I will advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve the parliament. Until such time, my colleagues in the Cabinet and I will continue to carry out our duties and responsibilities to the best of our ability.”Muhyiddin’s speech is an apparent attempt to downplay critics’ claims that the Malaysian leader has used the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to stifle political challenges to his unelected rule.In mid-January, Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah declared a state of emergency in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, postponing any elections until at least August and, Muhyiddin’s government has argued, delayed any sitting of parliament on public health grounds. However, the king announced last week that the emergency does not preclude the convening of parliament, something that Muhyiddin pointedly did not mention in his speech – and perhaps unsurprisingly. While the state of emergency has allowed Malaysia t…. Read more: https://tinyurl.com/y9xp9unk
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