State of emergency declared by Agong in Malaysia

With new COVID cases hitting a record high almost everyday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has decided to reimplement MCO in six states, namely Penang, Johor, Melaka, Selangor, Sabah, and all Federal Territories as a dire measure to help curb the spread of the virus.

While Malaysians are still in the process of familiarising themselves with new SOPs in line with the full lockdown, news of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah declaring a state of emergency till 1st August 2021 hit the Internet.

Emergency consented as healthcare reaches breaking point

Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah
Image credit: Istana Negara

The Palace released an official statement today announcing that a state of emergency is necessary as the COVID-19 situation has reached a critical level. Sultan Abdullah also reiterated that the decision was approved by the other rulers.

An independent committee that will include government and opposition members of parliament, health experts, and other professionals will be set up to advise the King and monitor the situation moving forward.

What a state of emergency will constitute

At the time of writing, the MCO that will run from 13th January to 26th January still stands. While policies for the newly declared state of emergency are being worked out at the moment, these are the changes that will reportedly take effect:

  • Parliament sittings will be withheld, and general elections and by-elections may be postponed
  • Political processes may be suspended, enabling the federal government to directly approve laws and acts

Previously, when the state of emergency had been declared, it was to protect the nation from a security threat. The most recent one was in November 1977, when political parties were engaged in a power struggle. This is the 5th such instance.

While it sounds shocking or scary, it is likely that life will still go on as normal for the rakyat, as it “is not a military coup and curfews will not be enforced,” said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in an address to the nation. In the same broadcast, he also assured the public that government institutions and public service sectors will continue to operate.

COVID cases predicted to hit 8,000 by late March

Many Malaysians are on the fence about the MCO, and with this new development of the current state of emergency announced, there are bound to be disputes.

But with an extremely worrying forecast of COVID-19 cases hitting 8,000 daily by late March, it is imperative that the health and lives of our people are prioritised above all else. Stay safe and strong, fellow Malaysians!

Stay up to date with more COVID developments here:

Cover image adapted from: Istana Negara and KEMENTERIAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA

Enjoying The Smart Local Malaysia? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this. If you have a story to share, email us at

Follow The Smart Local Malaysia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram for more stories like this. If you have a story to share, email us at