Malaysians wait in suspense amid possible declaration of an emergency

On the morning of October 23, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin held an impromptu Cabinet meeting in the country’s administrative capital, Putrajaya.

The details of the meeting have rumor mills running wild.

The country might declare a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases.

IMAGE: Bernama / New Straits Times

The Malaysian government is due to table its national budget for 2021 on November 6. If things don’t fall in their favor, this could trigger a snap election. But holding any kind of election during a spike in COVID-19 cases can negatively impact the country’s fight against the virus.

It’s not clear what a state of emergency, or an ‘economic emergency’ as some sources have called it, would entail. But the possibilities include the suspension of Parliament.

This would technically keep Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) government in power.

In a state of emergency, all vital decisions for the country are to be made by the Prime Minister, with advice from the National Security Council (NSC).

If a state of emergency were to be declared, this would also prevent snap elections from happening.

Following the Cabinet meeting in Putrajaya, Muhyiddin rushed to Kuantan in the state of Pahang to have an audience with the King.

For now, it’s unclear what fate Malaysia will meet.

This is a developing story. Watch this space for more updates.

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Cover image sourced from TTG Asia.