Malaysian king rejects emergency rule call

Joseph Sipalan and Rozanna Latiff
·1-min read

Malaysia's King Al-Sultan Abdullah has rejected a proposal by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for him to declare a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis, saying he does not see the need.

Critics say Muhyiddin's request for emergency rule, which would include suspending parliament, is an attempt by the premier to stay in power amid a leadership challenge.

Malaysia is seeing a resurgence in virus infections and on Saturday reported its biggest daily jump in cases with 1228 new cases.

The palace said Muhyiddin made the request for emergency rule to deal with the coronavirus pandemic but the government had been handling the crisis well.

"Al-Sultan Abdullah is of the opinion that there is no need at the moment for his majesty to declare an emergency in the country or in any part of the country of Malaysia," the palace said on Sunday.

"His majesty is confident in the ability of the government under the leadership of the prime minister to continue to implement policies and enforcement efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic."

The king's decision came after a meeting with other senior royals in the country.

Muhyiddin has been in a precarious position since he took office in March with a two-seat majority.

Uncertainties deepened after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said last month he had the parliamentary majority to form a new government.