Malaysia's state of emergency: What you need to know

The state of emergency in Malaysia will not entail any curfews.
The state of emergency in Malaysia will not entail any curfews. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - A state of emergency has been declared in Malaysia to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, after the King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, on Tuesday (Jan 12) assented to the government's request for the same.

The King approved the emergency powers for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's administration as a "proactive move to control and flatten daily Covid-19 positive cases that have breached four figures continuously since December", according to the Palace.

Malaysia has recorded more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases daily for the past week.

This is what the emergency entails:

- Effective from Jan 11 to Aug 1. Can be lifted earlier if an independent committee recommends that the pandemic is under control.

- Civilian government remains in place. No military rule.

- No curfews.

- No parliamentary or state assembly sittings. No elections.

- Cabinet, state executive councils and public services continue to function.

- Economic activities to continue as usual, subject to health protocols.

- King can make decrees under emergency, such as ordering the government to take over private healthcare facilities to relieve strain on public hospitals.

Malaysia's past emergencies:

- September 1964, during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation.

- September 1966, covering Sarawak, after political squabbles in the state.

- May 15, 1969, after deadly race riots on May 13. Policemen and soldiers were deployed, and curfews imposed.

- November 1977, in Kelantan during a power struggle between political parties Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia.