King grants lengthy state of emergency that critics say will help prime minister’s precarious coalition evade scrutiny

Malaysia’s king has declared a months-long national state of emergency one day before a strict lockdown is imposed on millions of people, a decision that critics say will allow its unstable government to evade scrutiny and cling to power.

A statement by the national palace said Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah had agreed to declare an emergency until 1 August following a request from the prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin. If infections are brought under control, the measures could be lifted more quickly.

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