KUALA LUMPUR: The Malay rulers will hold a special meeting Sunday (Oct 25) at Istana Negara here to discuss the government’s plan to declare an emergency to tackle the worsening Covid-19 situation.
The meeting, which is scheduled to start at 2.30pm, will be informal and will only involve the Rulers.
It will not include the Yang di-Pertua Negeri or any politicians at the meeting to seek the views of fellow Rulers.
Palace sources said while His Majesty Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had the final say on the declaration of Emergency, he will ask for input from the Sultans.
“In fact, it is more a get-together than a special meeting to be precise, ” said a palace source.
It is understood that at least six Sultans had already confirmed their attendance but it is almost certain that most of the Rulers will be present.
It is reliably learnt that the King will deliver the decision to the Prime Minister after the meeting.
The proposed Emergency declaration could mean the suspension of Parliament and a stop to all political activities but not economic and other activities.
There will be no curfew or heavy presence of the army and police in the streets.
On Friday (Oct 23), Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and several ministers presented the King with the emergency plan at Istana Abdul Aziz in Kuantan.
They were accompanied by the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The King had recently expressed his dismay over the actions of politicians on Oct 16 and advised them “to reflect on their actions so that the country would not be dragged into political uncertainty.”
Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah also joined in, expressing concern over the endless politicking, pointing out that the people were “bored and disgusted with politicians.”
Earlier on Friday, the Cabinet had decided to adopt a proposal to proceed with the Emergency to fight the pandemic and to halt political activities including the Batu Sapi by-election in Sabah and the impending Sarawak state elections.
Analysts said the Election Commission had no powers to stop the elections except with the declaration of an Emergency as health experts expressed fear the Covid-19 pandemic would go out of control if polls took place as in the recent Sabah elections.
Malaysia will not be the only country to impose an Emergency to combat Covid-19 as almost 80 countries had the step, in various degrees, to deal with the pandemic.
They include France, Spain, Belgium, Romania, Austria, Argentina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, the Philippines, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Luxembourg, Georgia and Japan.
On Saturday (Oct 24), the Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said His Majesty has urged the people to remain calm and not speculate as his main concern is the well-being of the rakyat in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.