M'sian general election will be held once Covid-19 pandemic is controlled: Muhyiddin

Muhyiddin said a civilian government remains in charge.

Sulaiman Daud | January 12, 2021, 12:26 PM

Malaysia will hold a general election once the Covid-19 situation in the country is under control, and polls can be safely held.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin made this declaration in a speech shortly after the news emerged that the Yang-di Pertuan Agong, Malaysia's king, has declared a state of emergency (darurat).

According to Straits Times on Jan. 12, he said:

"I give my firm commitment that general elections will be held as soon as the independent committee endorses that the Covid-19 pandemic has eased or controlled fully, and elections can be safely held. Then it will be up to the public to elect a new government."

The king has assented to the creation of the independent committee, made up of both ruling party and opposition members of parliament and health experts, to determine when the emergency can be ended.

Muhyiddin also confirmed that during the state of emergency, no Parliament (Dewan Rakyat) sittings would be held, and state assemblies will also not proceed.

Not a coup

Muhyiddin also denied that the emergency was a military "coup", said the civilian government would continue to function, and added that a curfew would not be imposed, according to Malaysiakini.

However the king may issue decrees such as the government being allowed to take over private healthcare facilities if public ones were overstretched.

Muhyiddin ascended to power in 2020 after his party, Bersatu, withdrew from the then-ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition.

The government collapsed, then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned, and Muhyiddin formed a new government made up of some Bersatu members, defectors from PKR, Barisan Nasional and PAS.

Despite a reported razor-thin majority in parliament, Muhyiddin did manage to pass a budget in Dec. 2020.

Top image from Muhyiddin Yassin's Facebook page.