How emergency powers might affect you, in brief

16-Jan-2021 Intellasia | Malaysiakini | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 is now in force and backdated to January 11. There is no expiry to this ordinance.

Emergency ordinances are special laws that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can pass during an emergency period, without the permission of Parliament. Below are the powers of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 in brief:


Anyone who fails to comply with government demands to hand over property or resources can be jailed up to 10 years, fined up to RM5 million, or both.

Legal immunity

No legal action can be initiated against the government or its agents in carrying out this ordinance.

Property seizure

The government may take temporary possession of any land, building, or movable property.

The assessment of the compensation shall be final and cannot be challenged in court.

Use of resources

The government may demand “any resources” to be utilised for any purpose deemed necessary.

Resources include human resources, facilities, utilities, and assets.

The government will have the final say on the charges that can be imposed by the person providing those resources.

More powers for health ministry

The government can appoint anyone to issue directions for treatment, immunisation, isolation, observation, or surveillance. This provision is likely to empower specific private health workers.

Armed forces

The armed forces shall have all the powers of police officers.

Certificates for medical practitioners

The government may exempt a medical practitioner from complying with the address of the principal place of practice specified in practising certificates.

Below are the replies to questions Malaysiakini has received.

Can I refuse immunisation?

Most likely not. Section 6(1) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 confers powers on agents who are given power under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

Penalties under the Act include jail time and fines.

Who is in power?

The prime minister, federal cabinet, menteri besar, chief minister, state executive council, or state cabinet which existed before January 11 will continue to exercise their functions.

Can there be elections?

Vacancies in the Dewan Rakyat, Dewan Negara, and state legislative assemblies will not be filled. Article 54 and Article 55 of the Federal Constitution as well as state laws relating to elections will not have any effect during the emergency period.

Can Parliament sit?


Who provides check and balance?

His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the final say on the issuance of any emergency ordinance.


Category: Malaysia

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