Malaysia: Selangor, Penang blast Azmin over CMCO threat

  • Selangor has defended its constitutional and legal right to not fully adopt Putrajaya’s conditional movement control order (CMCO), while Penang has dared the federal government to sue for not following the order which began on 4 May 20.
  • Selangor executive councillor Teng Chang Khim said the state list and the concurrent list under the Ninth Schedule of the federal constitution empowers state governments to instruct businesses not to resume operations.
  • Local government power to oversee business operations is on the state list, while public health sanitation and prevention of diseases are on the concurrent list.
  • He was responding to Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, who said state governments who did not fully adopt the federal government’s CMCO were in defiance of the law and could be sued by industry players who want to reopen for business.
  • Selangor decided to further restrict the number and types of businesses allowed to operate.
  • It also requires construction sites to submit health safety plans before receiving approval from the local authority, and has continued banning the use of public parks and dine-in at restaurants.
  • Teng said the state’s additional conditions were about implementing “soft-landing measures before the lifting of the MCO or the CMCO”.
  • Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, meanwhile, said the state and he were ready to be sued for protecting the lives of Penang citizens.
  • Penang has decided to implement the CMCO in phases instead of allowing sectors to restart in one day, and is preparing guidelines for industries in the meantime.
  • “Azmin should not threaten state governments but engage us respectfully in a strategic manner to help restore the country’s economy,” Chow said at a press conference in Penang on 5 May 20.

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