The Emergency declaration to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is not a military coup.

In fact, there will be no curfew imposed and the government, as well as economic activities will go on as usual, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has clarified.

In a televised address, Muhyiddin said the emergency is effective immediately.

"Parliament and state assemblies will be suspended. The civilian government will continue to function as usual.

"No elections will be held," he said, adding that the armed forces will be roped in to assist public health, and help the police enforce the law.

The judiciary will also function as normal, and economic activities will continue to be operational, subject to strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs), Muhyiddin added.

Earlier, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in a statement said that he had consented to declare a state of emergency nationwide until August 1, or until the COVID-19 situation comes into control.

In the statement issued by Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, the Comptroller of the Royal Household, the King said he has also approved the formation of an independent committee to manage the COVID-19 situation, which will comprise MPs from the government and opposition, as well as health experts.

The committee will make recommendations regarding the COVID-19 situation to the King, and if deemed fit, the emergency can be withdrawn much earlier than August 1.

Responding for calls for an election to be held, Muhyiddin said it will happen as soon as the committee declares the COVID-19 situation is over.

"I urge the people to stay calm and trust the government. We must win the fight against COVID-19."

The emergency declaration comes less than 24 hours after Muhyiddin reinstated the Movement Control Order (MCO) in six states - namely Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor, Sabah, and three Federal Territories of Labuan, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya, following high occurences of COVID-19 cases there, for two weeks beginning Jan 13.

Another six states - Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan will be put under Condititional MCO (CMCO) while Perlis and most of Sarawak will be under Revovery MCO (RMCO) for the two-week period until Jan 26.

Photo source: Bernama