State of Emergency: For self preservation – or to protect the nation?

By P Ramakrishnan

Ramakrishnan argues that declaring a state of emergency has nothing to do with protecting the nation but it has everything to do with preserving PN’s status quo.

It is certain that the state of emergency will be declared. It is imminent. It can be tomorrow or the day after but it will be declared soon enough within the week.

The rationale for this is not very clear or convincing. It is claimed that this is necessary to combat the Covit-19. But doesn’t the existing law allow for effective control of this? What more can be achieved to control Covid-19 with the declaration of emergency?

Will the state of emergency reduce the over-crowding in prisons? Will it help to bolster the shortage of health personnel and facilities in Sabah which was much neglected under the Barisan Nasional rule? What more can be achieved that we are unable to do so under the present MCO?

If it is a genuine concern to control the Covid-19, we could have taken steps to combat it much earlier. A state of emergency could have been declared to prevent Musa Aman from stealing a duly elected Warisan government which would have created unrest In Sabah. Or it could have been declared to prevent the election in Sabah knowing that voters coming out to vote posed a great danger in spiking the disease.

But that wasn’t the concern. What was more important was the fact that the Perikatan Nasional was likely to take over Sabah. Caution was thrown to the wind because power was within reach. PN took the risk and created clusters of Covid-19 all over Sabah which is threatening to explode.

If the PN was serious in tackling the spread of Covid-19, it could have addressed this issue earnestly and much earlier. But that wasn’t the case. The backdoor government politicians were squabbling all the time for positions and for well-paying appointments in the GLCs. Even the claim by Umno for the CM’s position in Sabah is still persisting. Umno even threatened to pull out of PN if its demand were not granted, which also included the Deputy Prime Minister’s post.

All these months it was about them – not the people or the Covid-19.

Many tend to think that the demand to have the vote of no confidence in the PN government is mounting and gaining momentum and whatever excuse the Speaker had given to evade putting this matter to vote has been dismissed as being most ridiculous.

Apart from the attempt by the Speaker seen as trying to save the PN government, the 2021 Budget would have undone whatever the Speaker is trying to do. The inevitability of the Budget being defeated is staring starkly and nothing can save the PN government from toppling. In that event, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet would have to resign.

It is this possibility that has to be prevented at all costs. And the only way to avoid the collapse of the PN government – many would argue – is to declare a state of emergency to save their skin.

It has nothing to do with protecting the nation but it has everything to do with preserving their status quo.

The excuse for the state of emergency reminds us of a very telling quotation:

“A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.”

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

P Ramakrishnan is the long-serving former president of Aliran who served three and a half decades on its executive committee, and has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977. Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.
Rebuilding Malaysia


  • […] and tumoiling political manoeuvrings, including consideration of a declaration of emergency for premiership self preservation and or power, whilst catering to Big Capital, our nation – and its  healthcare system – is […]

  • isaloo says:

    The back door regime
    They know they can’t smell good
    They want to sink to the pit
    Bring the nation down to sacrifice

    This isn’t the way
    Once they feel they have lost the majority
    They should tender in their resignations
    They shouldn’t wait to prop themselves up

    There are no reason of threats
    Any where else but within the nation
    The Rocking Rona laughing at us
    Cause by the back door regime

    The back door wants to stay
    Behind close doors to plan well
    Without any eyes to see and record
    The back door can do wonders with it

    The King and the Rulers
    They should uphold the Constitution
    No emergency law should be declared
    Just for a man to stay on his chair

    Let him face his demon
    Let him face his no confidence vote
    He has failed in his administration
    The nation shouldn’t get stuck with him

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