PETALING JAYA: Two top government officials have explained why the government has been provided emergency powers for access to private land, building or movable property and resources while dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The chief secretary to the government, Mohd Zuki Ali, said the government requires many resources, facilities and manpower to combat the pandemic which had been considered as a national threat.
Zuki said the temporary access for private assets was not limited to the health sector only, adding that the government could use the power for other important sectors such as economic, security, and education, among others.
Since it would be difficult to maintain physical distancing at schools, he said the government could provide bigger buildings for school administrators to conduct academic lessons without risking students’ health.
Zuki also noted that the declaration of a state of emergency is necessary as the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act was insufficient to contain the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.
“The emergency is the best option for the government to receive assistance from the private sectors,” he said in a live interview today.
National Security Council director-general Mohd Rabin Basir said the situation would be worsened if the government were to depend solely on the current law and did not enact emergency ordinances.
“This is because the government would not get the necessary assistance it needed,” he said.
He added that with the ordinance having power over private assets would help speed up any decision-making process with the private sectors.
“The ordinance would allow the government to cut bureaucracy and the long negotiation process with the private sector,” he said.