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Malaysia declares Covid state of emergency amid political challenges

The King of Malaysia Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah salutes during the Trooping the Color ceremony, held in conjunction with the national day of celebration of the Malaysian King"s birthday on 09 September; in Putrajaya, Malaysia, 12 September 2019
The emergency declaration was issued by the king of Malaysia, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah

The king of Malaysia, Al-Sultan Abdullah, has declared a months-long state of emergency across the country to combat a rise in coronavirus cases.

The move was requested by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, and allows Mr Muhyiddin to suspend parliament at a time when his government is weakened. The palace said the emergency would last until 1 August, unless cases were brought under control earlier. Critics say it allows Mr Muhyiddin’s unstable government to cling to power. The prime minister came to power in March last year with a thin majority, but was facing threats from coalition allies to withdraw support for his government, triggering a snap election. The state of emergency, the first in 50 years, was declared on Monday by the king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. It suspends Malaysia’s parliament and political activity and grants the state new powers.


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