Putrajaya seen as reluctant to obey royal call - Free Malaysia Today

The King and Malay rulers want the state of emergency to end and Parliament to reconvene as soon as possible.

PETALING JAYA: Pundits are questioning the government’s apparent reluctance to heed Wednesday’s call from the King and Malay rulers to end the state of emergency and reopen Parliament as soon as possible.

One of them, political analyst Azmi Hassan, told FMT he saw “no eagerness” to respond to what several observers have called a “decree” from Istana Negara. He asked whether Perikatan Nasional was “still thinking what to do”.

He said the government should in fact be thanking the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay rulers for their statement and announcing plans to end the emergency.

He also said law minister Takiyuddin Hassan might have “made a blooper” when he said the King had not specified when Parliament should reconvene.

“Such a statement does not seem right,” he said, adding that it could cause many Malaysians, particularly rural Malays, to reject the government.

Azmi, a former Universiti Teknologi Malaysia lecturer, said he believed there was a lot of anger against the government for its alleged failure to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many feel that the palace represents their voice. The government may have bungled with the law minister’s statement,” he said.

Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya said the government was showing a lack of enthusiasm in carrying out reforms proposed by the King.

“It should be enthusiastic with its reactions and acting immediately on the advice given by the King and the Malay rulers,” he said.

He said the government should give a commitment that it agreed with the King and his brother rulers and would end the emergency as scheduled on Aug 1.

The Malay rulers said on Wednesday that there was no need to extend the emergency beyond Aug 1 and the King advised the government to reconvene Parliament as soon as possible.

Awang Azman warned that any delay from the government would result in an increase in public anger.

Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said the government would need to “splash money” on handouts and aid to curb rising public anger.

“But it doesn’t have as much as before,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement in April that the Covid-19 crisis had left the government with less money.

Oh said this was likely to result in a revival of Malay electoral support for Umno in hopes of going back to the “good days when Umno would take care of them”.