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Malaysia declares state of emergency over virus surge

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Malaysia’s king declared a nationwide state of emergency on Tuesday to combat a coronavirus surge and Parliament was suspended, with critics charging it was a bid by the unstable authorities to cling to energy.

The shock transfer got here a day after the Prime Minister introduced sweeping new curbs throughout a lot of the Southeast Asian nation, together with the closure of most companies, and warned the health system was “at breaking point”.

Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah agreed to declare an emergency till August 1 following a request from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, the nationwide palace mentioned in an announcement.

It is the primary time Malaysia has declared a nationwide state of emergency in over half a century and Mr. Muhyiddin, in a televised handle, confirmed Parliament can be suspended and elections wouldn’t happen in the interim.

Not a coup, says PM

But the chief, whose 10-month-old administration is displaying indicators of falling aside, insisted that “the civilian government will continue to function”.

“The emergency declaration… is not a military coup and a curfew will not be enforced,” he mentioned.

He insisted he was dedicated to holding a basic election as soon as the nation’s outbreak is introduced beneath management.

The announcement got here after Mr. Muhyiddin’s key coalition allies began withdrawing assist, which may have led to the collapse of the federal government and snap nationwide polls that some feared may worsen the outbreak.

Mr. Muhyiddin has narrowly survived a collection of challenges in parliament since taking workplace however is now thought to have misplaced his majority.

Malaysia saved the virus in examine for a lot of final 12 months with a troublesome lockdown however, as soon as curbs have been eased, circumstances accelerated and have repeatedly hit recent data in current days.

As properly as suspending political life, the declaration offers the federal government powers to take over personal hospitals as authorities services develop into overwhelmed, and get further assist from the navy and police, Muhyiddin mentioned.

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