Armed forces given additional powers under new emergency ordinance

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PETALING JAYA: The first ordinance enacted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after the emergency proclamation on Monday has been gazetted, giving, among others, additional powers to the armed forces.

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The Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 stipulates that as long as the emergency is in force, the armed forces “shall have all the powers of a police officer of whatever rank as provided for under the Criminal Procedure Code”.

The ordinance, published on the website of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, states that an independent special committee will advise the King on the “continuing existence of the grave emergency threatening the security, economic life and public order of the nation arising from Covid-19”.

It also allows for the temporary possession of private land, building or movable property and resources.

The ordinance states that any compensation shall be final and cannot be challenged in any court.

It says the King or his representative may exempt a healthcare professional regulated under a law from the requirement to comply with the principal place of practice specified in any annual practising certificate.

It says the King may issue directions for treatment, immunisation, isolation, observation or surveillance under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

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Any person who violates section 3 or 4 or fails to comply with any demand or direction of the King “commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5 million or to a jail term of up to 10 years or both”.

The offenders include a company, limited liability partnership, firm, society or other body of persons, a person who is, among others, a director, compliance officer, partner, manager and secretary.

Under the ordinance, the government and its officers are protected against suits and legal proceedings for negligence or default done or omitted in good faith.

It states that the prime minister, the Cabinet and those in the states “exists and have been conferred the executive functions”.

“The legislative functions to make subsidiary legislation under federal laws and state laws shall continue to be exercised by the persons so authorised by such laws,” it says.

The ordinance also states that vacancies to the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara will not be filled.

Parliament’s term for five years as provided under Article 55 of the constitution shall stand dissolved and deleted as long as the emergency is in force, it says.

Any meeting of the Parliament which has been summoned before the coming into operation of this ordinance has also been cancelled- FMT

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