Politicians simply want greater powers by declaring emergency, says activist

A SARAWAK activist has questioned the need for an emergency declaration, especially in Sarawak, as the state government has already managed to control the Covid-19 pandemic.

Peter John Jaban said the state government had no issues implementing the movement control order (MCO), conditional MCO or recovery MCO.

“They demanded that the whole population stay at home. They have closed down schools and businesses. They have suspended interstate travel, all without the need to resort to these emergency powers.

“In fact, they have called out the army, set up roadblocks, taken people into custody and raised thousands of ringgit in fines, all using the existing powers that they have,” he said in a statement today.

Peter claimed politicians simply wanted greater powers to do what they want, calling for the people to prevent them from doing so.

He praised the Sarawak government for its actions in curbing the spread of Covid-19, saying they are an excellent model for the federal government to emulate.

“With just over 1,500 cases and fewer than 20 deaths, it seems that the Sarawak health service was in better shape than the rest of Malaysia despite the years of neglect and underfunding by the federal authorities,” he added.

“If Sarawak can manage it, then why can’t the federal government follow its lead? Perhaps they should be learning from the Sarawak experience instead of imposing their emergency powers on the people of this state.”

Peter said Sarawak was supposed to hold its state elections this year and the only likely outcome of emergency powers in the state is the stifling of the electoral process.

“It is up to the Election Commission and the state health department to use their existing powers to ensure the election takes place, with the democratic process intact,” he said.