Home Civil Society Voices Focus on the people; no emergency, please! – 91 academics

Focus on the people; no emergency, please! – 91 academics

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We, the undersigned, note with grave concern the cabinet’s rumoured decision to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare a state of emergency.

According to Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, a proclamation of emergency may be issued by the Agong if he is satisfied “a grave emergency exists, whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the Federation or any part thereof is threatened”. At this moment in time, the country is nowhere near such a situation.

Malaysia is admittedly facing an economic crisis, as well as a public health crisis related to Covid-19, especially in Sabah. Both are really worrisome.

The government, through the Ministry of Health, nonetheless has sufficient legal and medical options to flatten the curve and bring the spread of the virus under control, as was done during the second wave. We are concerned that the move to declare an emergency under Article 150 is motivated by the unsettling political situation within the Perikatan Nasional government itself and the fear that its Budget 2021 may be defeated in the next parliamentary session, which begins on 2 November.

If this is so, we urge PN and all other MPs to let cool heads prevail and act responsibly as elected representatives. We urge them to demonstrate their commitment to preserve the democratic way of life, the fruits of a peaceful democratic transition, the rule of law and parliamentary democracy, the achievements of which have enhanced Malaysia’s reputation internationally. In the spirit of safeguarding national and the people’s interests, they should show statesmanship by sitting down and negotiating a consensual Budget to get it passed.

It needs no reminder that emergency rule amounts to a monopoly of power by the executive, without the necessary checks and balances provided by the judiciary and legislature. This only serves to compromise good governance and undermine the rule of law and accountability.

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This suspension of and disregard for democratic institutions, if not taken seriously, will lead us down the slippery slope of an authoritarian government and dictatorial rule, a familiar development in the last century. In turn, it will harm our international standing, financial reputation, investment climate and governmental credibility, the price of which all of us, the rakyat, and the country will have to pay.

In view of this, we call for calm, wisdom and statesmanship.

Focus on the rakyat, stop politicking, sit down and negotiate. No emergency, please!


1. Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Embong, retired academic

2. Prof Emerita Datuk Dr Wazir Jahan Karim, anthropologist and conservationist

3. Prof Dr Syed Farid Alatas, National University of Singapore

4. Prof Emeritus Dr Tham Siew Yean, retired academic

5. Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Muhamad Hj Salleh

6. Prof Zaharom Nain, University of Nottingham Malaysia

7. Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

8. Prof Dr Maude E Phipps, Monash University Malaysia

9. Prof Dr Edmund Terence Gomez, Universiti Malaya

10. Prof Dr Sharmani Patricia Gabriel, Universiti Malaya

11. Prof Dr Teh Yik Koon, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia

12. Prof Dr Mohamed Aslam Haneef, International Islamic University Malaysia

13. Prof Dr Nor Faridah Abdul Manaf, International Islamic University Malaysia

14. Prof Dr Chin Yee Whah, Universiti Sains Malaysia

15. Dr Ong Puay Liu, retired professor of anthropology

16. Abdul Halim Ali, retired professor of sociology

17. Datuk Dr Ahmad Mahdzan Ayob, retired professor, former deputy vice-chancellor

18. Dr Francis Loh Kok Wah, retired professor of politics

19. Dr Subramaniam Pillay, retired academic and co-founder of Aliran

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20. Dr Madeline Berma, retired academic; fellow at the Academy of Sciences Malaysia

21. Norani Othman, retired professor of sociology

22. Assoc Prof Dr Helen Ting, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

23. Dr Hew Wai Weng, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

24. Assoc Prof Dr Lew Bon Hoi, New Era University College

25. Dr Lai Suat Yan, Universiti Malaya

26. Dr Khoo Ying Hooi, Universiti Malaya

27. Assoc Prof Dr Yeoh Seng Guan, Monash University Malaysia

28. Assoc Prof Dr Kuik Cheng Chwee, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

29. Dr Mohd Faizal Musa, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

30. Dr Greg Lopez, Murdoch University

31. Dr Charis Quay Huei Li, Université Paris-Saclay

32. Dr Rusaslina Idrus, Universiti Malaya

33. Dr Phua Kai Lit, retired associate professor

34. Assoc Prof Dr Sumit Mandal, University of Nottingham Malaysia

35. Dr Por Heong Hong, Universiti Sains Malaysia

36. Dr Lim Teck Ghee, retired academic

37. Assoc Prof Dr Khoo Gaik Cheng, University of Nottingham Malaysia

38. Dr Mazlan Che Soh, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)

39. Dr Chong Wu Ling, Universiti Malaya

40. Dr Muhamad Azwan Abd Rahman, Universiti Utara Malaysia

41. Bealeatham Kalimuthu, retired academic

42. Dr Teo Lee Ken, independent researcher

43. Muhammad Ariff Asyrul Adnan, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)

44. Rosli H Mahat, retired associate professor of physics

45. Dr Omar Shawkataly, retired academic

46. Dr Ngo Sheau Shi, Universiti Sains Malaysia

47. Dr Yuwana Podin, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

48. Dr Tunku Mohar Tunku Mohd Mokhtar, International Islamic University Malaysia

49. Azmyl Yusof, Sunway University

50. Dr Andrew Aeria, retired academic

51. Tricia Yeoh, PhD candidate, University of Nottingham Malaysia

52. Dr Azmil Tayeb, Universiti Sains Malaysia

53. Dr Koh Sin Yee, Monash University Malaysia

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54. Dr Brendan J. Gomez, independent scholar

55. Dr Show Ying Xin, Australian National University

56. Dr Ramze Endut, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

57. Dr V Selvaratnam, retired academic

58. Haris Zuan Jaharudin, academic & PhD candidate, Cranfield University

59. Fatimah Mohd Tajuddin, academic & PhD candidate

60. Mohd Sazni, MA candidate

61. Syahida Johan, academic

62. Ooi Kok Hin, MA candidate, independent researcher

63. Zikri Rahman, PhD candidate, National Chiao Tung University

64. Helmy Muhammad, PhD candidate

65. Aisyah Tajuddin, academic

66. Nabilah Huda, academic

67. Fairuzzaman Shaharuddin, PhD candidate

68. Dr Wan Manan Wan Muda, retired academic

69. Dr Azizan Bahari, retired academic, writer

70. Dr Wan Puspa Melati Wan Abdul Halim, academic

71. Marilyn Ong Siew Ai, retired academic

72. Dr Athi Sivan T Mariappan, independent researcher

73. Dr Chan lean Heng, retired academic

74. Dr Wilson Tay Tze Vern, Taylor’s University Malaysia

75. Fang Yi Xue, academic (INTI International University) & PhD Candidate

76. Dr Lee Hwok Aun, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

77. Dr Sharifah Munirah Alatas, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

78. Dr Chai Ming Hock, Universiti Sains Malaysia

79. Ab Bassit Husain, academic, Universiti Kuala Lumpur

80. Akmal Hisham Abdul Rahim, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM)

81. Aznijar Mohd Yazid, Universiti Malaya

82. Dr Simon Soon, Universiti Malaya

83. Dr Chang Teck Peng, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College

84. Dr Wong Kok Keong, Berjaya University College

85. Dr Welyne Jeffrey Jehom, Universiti Malaya

86. Dr Ngeow Chow Bing, Universiti Malaya

87. Dr Muhamad Nadzri Mohamed Noor, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

88. Dr Peter Chang, Universiti Malaya

89. Assoc Prof Dr Sivachandralingam Sundara Raja, Universiti Malaya

90. Assoc Prof Dr Chang Yun Fah, Taylor’s University Malaysia

91. UK Menon, CEO, Espact Education

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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