ASEAN lawmakers urge the restoration of parliament in Malaysia, express concerns over the emergency


On the 11th of January, the emergency was declared In Malaysia by Yang DI Pertyan Agong, so that the spread of Coronavirus could be curbed. Thus proclamation was made under Article 150 (1) and will last till 1st august. It can also end earlier or later but will depend on the rise/fall in covid 19. This decision will be taken by an independent task force that contains people from both governments and the king’s health advisers.
But recently, Around 80 southeast lawmakers have expressed their emergency concerns declares in Malaysia, this measure had been under the federal constitution but was not used for decades. These lawmakers signed a statement that states that they are worried about the powers handed over to the Malaysian authorities under the emergency. Thus they have urged officials like Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin summon the parliament a soon as they can.
A board member of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for human rights, Tom Villarin who is also the former Phillippine member of parliament stated that; the fact that a lot of many lawmakers all across the region are speaking against the emergency shows that the level of concern these people have on the impact of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia. And the emergency can have a long-lasting adverse impact on the lives of the people.
The pandemic-related measures adopted in the southeast Asian countries have hampered human rights, and now is the time to put inadequate safeguards. Round 89 former and current lawmakers, from a spread of six countries, have requested Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, the Malaysian parliament speaker, to activate the parliament and make sure that the members are meeting regularly.
Tom Villarin also states that tackling the Coronavirus induced pandemic should be the priority. Still, the response should keep human rights in mind, and the laws should also be respected. but this move by the Malaysian government not on concentrates on the broad powers, but has also removed the oversight, which means that the human rights can be abused easily
The Asean lawmakers further highlighted the powers that officials under the emergency would receive these include additional powers given to armed forces. Under the emergency there will be a suspension of the parliament as well as the sittings of assembly, the elections will be postponed, and the authorities will receive legal immunity for their acts that have been conducted in ‘good faith.”
All these measures are defying the international standards and undermining the process of democracy; moreover, the environment under emergency will turn hostile and can become a base for potential abuse of power.
The group of lawmakers further stated that under the international law of emergency, the measures taken should be necessary as well proportionate so that all the results can be achieved in a non-discriminatory manner.
Lastly, they stated that the unelected government of Muhyiddin is unstable. This move appears like a desperate attempt to stay in power rather than n effective way of taking care of the pandemic.


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