An independent special committee on the emergency will try to balance the economy with health risks and advise the king on when to end the proclamation. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Afif Abd Halim, February 10, 2021.
Senior fellow of the Malaysian Council of Professors Dr Jeniri Amir said the committee contains enough experts to serve with integrity and uphold the trust given by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah).

The Prime Minister’s Department yesterday named the committee members after receiving the Agong’s consent.

The committee, set up under Section 2 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, serves to advise the Agong on the emergency in Malaysia and the end of it, and chaired by former chief justice Arifin Zakaria. 

Jeniri said each committee member is a professional and would not ignore the interests of the people in providing views and decisions on emergency issues.

He also expects the group not to get caught up in the political games of any party when making decisions.

Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) social science school lecturer Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said the committee will function as an effective form of check and balance as it is not only made up of experienced individuals, but also involves members of the government and the opposition.

The committee should be seen as a positive step to assess the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation, in addition to advising the Agong in ensuring the emergency proclamation runs smoothly and effectively.

He said the committee’s establishment will provide substantial input to the safety and health aspects of the country, besides providing a better image on the implementation of the state of emergency.

“This committee can make suggestions for improvement on what is being implemented by the authorities to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic in a consistent manner.

“In this context, I believe all its members have a responsibility to put the nation over political interests” – Bernama