Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has consented to declare a nationwide emergency until 1 August 2021 to contain COVID-19
In a statement this morning, 12 January, the Agong said it is a proactive measure to curb the spread of the concerning number of coronavirus cases in the country since December.
"I urge the people to remain calm and strong to face this state of emergency and the Movement Control Order (MCO) for our safety and interest," he said in the statement issued by Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, the Comptroller of the Royal Household.
The declaration comes after the Agong had an audience with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the Istana Negara on Monday, 11 January
The Agong also had briefings with many other top government officials before coming to the decision.
They include Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun, Armed Forces General Tan Sri Affendi Buang, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, and Election Commission chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh.
The matter has also taken into account His Majesty's consultations with the Malay Rulers.
The Agong has also approved the formation of an independent committee to manage the COVID-19 situation
It will comprise of Members of Parliament from the government and opposition as well as health experts in the country.
"This independent committee will make recommendations to His Majesty if it deems fit that the emergency can be withdrawn much earlier (than 1 August)," said the statement.
The palace added that the state of emergency will be called off earlier if the number of COVID-19 cases in the country can be controlled and effectively lowered.