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apple developer enterprise account for rent:Tackling public health as a national security issue


RECENTLY, the proclamation of a state of emergency by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has stirred mixed views by members of the public and politicians who are against the idea, to the extent even some political members pursued the legality of the matter in court. While I am personally not interested to discuss its legality – best left handled and decided in the expert hands of the law – allow me to share some academic insights on the ideation of public health as a national security issue.The term national security, while more popularly associated with war, cold war, guerilla-type of war, confrontation, espionage, and in recent millennial years, cybersecurity by hackers towards important government websites and data, also possible bioterrorism threats, perhaps public health would not count as one. However, the recent Covid-19 pandemic has changed our paradigm on what constitutes national security as it has caused turmoil to our economic, social, and political situation.National security terms can be classified into military and non-military ideas – the former consisting of collective and global security also international law, whereas the latter comprising political, economy, energy, homeland, human, environmental security, and cybersecurity (Holmes, 2014).Hence, it is arguable that Covid-19, a serious public health matter, is an issue of national security. To understand the view that public health is a national security issue, let me spare some of the academic views on this matter. Katz and Singer (2007) opined “as far as pandemics could lead to destabilisation or disruption of social order, political agitation, and impairment of the economy, they qualify as security concerns”. National Academies Press (2017) remarked that “national security is not just about protection from state and non-state actors, but also encompasses protection from emerging infectious diseases and other health outcomes that can threaten a nation’s economic vitality and its very way of life”. Evans (2010) also shares the same view that “emerging diseases and their pandemic potential pose perhaps an even greater national security threat, particularly in this era of globalisation when the disease can spread more rapidly than in previous eras”.Malaysia maintains its own national security policy; it is significant afterwards to narrate the countless security issues that led to the launch of the policy in 2013. The NSP highlights the necessity to preserve its sovereignty, national security, and public order, take cognisance of both international threats and geopolitical climate at the regional and international level namely as follows: national unity, nation’s democratic system, illegal immigrants and refugees, territorial claims, extremism and terrorism, cybersecurity, disasters, crises, transnational crime, pandemics and infectious diseases, energy security, food security, and nuclear arms.Let us move on to the historical part issues of national security in Malaysia. Previously there were series of national security issues that occurred in Malaysia either through the declaration of a state of emergency or the use of any existing legal and administrative measures. Nevertheless, the exercise of the lengthy arrest without trial law – the Internal Security Act 1960 – was in practice, until it was abolished during the tenure of Najib Razak but replaced with the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015, to combat terrorism as a source of a national threat to the country.Previously, groups of guerrilla attacks such as Al Maunah, the Sulu Sultanate army in Lahad Datu, Malaysian-Indonesian confrontation against the formation of Malaysia before 1963, and transboundary haze issues that led to a state of emergency being declared, showed that national security issues should be governed with cogent laws.Covid-19 poses as the millennial type of threat to national security.Hence in the time of Covid-19, it is important to materialise existing legal, public health, and administrative measures, to ensure preparedness and effectiveness of these laws in handling the pandemic as a national security crisis management issue from the legal and institutional lenses.The Covid-19 pandemic should be viewed as a national security issue. – February 1, 2021.* Dr Noor Dzuhaidah Osman reads The Malaysian Insight. * This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.

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