How the Pandemic Is Keeping Malaysia’s Politics Messy
Malaysia’s first transfer of power in six decades was hailed as a milestone for transparency, free speech and racial tolerance in the multiethnic Southeast Asian country. But the new coalition collapsed amid an all-too-familiar mix of political intrigue and horse trading. Elements of the old regime were brought into a new government that also proved short-lived, leading to a third prime minister in just 18 months and the return of the United Malays National Organisation to the country’s top postwashingtonpost.com
Malaysian king holds unusual meetings with political leaders
Malaysia's king is holding consultations with political leaders, including former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, amid public concern over a sharp spike in coronavirus cases that has led to a second nationwide lockdown. Such consultations are unusual and come ahead of the Aug. 1 expiration of a coronavirus emergency declared by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad approved the emergency in early January, but critics said it was a political ruse to help the embattled prime minister stay in power despite challenges to his leadership.news.yahoo.com
Mahathir says remarks on French attacks taken out of context
KUALA LUMPUR – Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad stood by his widely condemned comments on attacks by Muslim extremists in France, saying Friday that they were taken out of context and criticizing Twitter and Facebook for removing his posts. “I am indeed disgusted with attempts to misrepresent and take out of context what I wrote on my blog," Mahathir said in a statement. He said Twitter and Facebook removed the posting despite his explanation, and slammed the move as hypocritical. A Mahathir staff member said the entire posting was removed by Facebook. Facebook Malaysia said in an email that it removed Mahathir’s posting for violating its policies.
The Latest: Prosecutor: attacker not on intelligence radar
A man prays in the street outside the Notre Dame church in Nice, southern France, after a knife attack took place on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)PARIS – The Latest on a knife attack in Nice, France, (all times local):10:25 p.m.France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor says the Nice attacker, who was born in 1999, was not on the radar of intelligence agencies as a potential threat. The rally came on the day an attacker armed with a knife killed three people inside a church in the French city of Nice. An attacker armed with a knife killed three people in the southern French coastal city Thursday. ___11:20 a.m.An attacker armed with a knife has killed three people at a church in the southern French city of Nice.
Malaysia's Anwar meets king in bid to form new government
Anwar met the king Tuesday in a bid to form a new government after claiming he had secured a majority in Parliament. Anwar said he showed he has the support of over 120 lawmakers, which would allow him to unseat Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. It said the king advised Anwar “to abide by and respect the legal process" based on the constitution. Allies in his Malay-centric coalition also denied supporting Anwar, and branded Anwar a “desperado” for seeking to wrest power during the pandemic. Mahathir became prime minister a second time.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar plans new government
Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim gestures as he leaves after a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Anwar said he has secured a majority in parliament to form a new government that is strong, stable and formidable." (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Wednesday he has secured a majority in Parliament to form a new government, but parties in the ruling coalition called it a “cheap publicity" stunt. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Anwar must provide evidence, and “until proven otherwise, my National Alliance government still stands firm and I am still prime minister.” He urged Malaysians to stay calm. Once a high flyer in the ruling party, Anwar was convicted of homosexual sodomy and corruption after a power struggle with Mahathir in 1998.
Malaysia's ex-finance minister charged again in graft case
Malaysian former Finance Minister and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, center, arrives at courthouse in Butterworth, Malaysia, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. Lim pleaded not guilty to a second graft charge relating to a $1.5 billion undersea tunnel project. (AP Photo/Gary Chuah)PENANG Malaysia's former finance minister pleaded not guilty Monday to a second corruption charge related to a $1.5 billion undersea tunnel project and slammed the case as a trumped-up charge by the new government. On Monday, he was accused of abusing his power as Penang chief minister to obtain 3.3 million ringgit ($786,182) as inducement to help a local company secure the construction contract. The project was approved during Lims tenure as Penang chief minister from 2008-2018, before he became Malaysias finance minister.
Malaysia PM wins tests of support, ousts house speaker
KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin narrowly won a motion to boot the parliament speaker Monday, scraping through the first test of his support nearly five months after taking power. Its success could thwart the opposition's bid of a no-confidence vote against Muhyiddin, analysts said. Lawmakers engaged in heated debates over Muhyiddins unprecedented proposal to replace the house speaker with his own candidate. Then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned in protest of the plan, and filed a motion of no-confidence against his former party ally. Chin said the speaker replacement suggested parliament cannot act as an effective check and balance against Muhyiddin.
Malaysia's ex-PM to hear verdict in 1st graft case in July
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak wearing a face mask arrives at court house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, June 4, 2020. Closing arguments are expected in the first corruption trial of him linked to the multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB state investment fund. The High Court set July 28 to deliver its verdict that will be closely watched as Najibs Malay political party is reviving its fortunes. Prosecutors argued Najib was the real power behind 1MDB and SRC as premier and finance minister at the time. Sithambaram said the change in Malaysia's government didn't affect the prosecution's case and that there was no order for them to back off against Najib.
Malaysia's Muhyiddin named PM in shock that sidelines old rivals
Malaysia's former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin shows a document after submitting an application for a new political party on August 9, 2016. "His majesty has decreed that the process of appointing a prime minister cannot be delayed," it added. "I only ask for all Malaysians to accept the decision announced by the national palace," Muhyiddin told reporters at his home. Former UNMO prime minister Najib Razak is on trial for corruption. UMNO, which Mahathir led from 1981 to 2003 during a previous stint as prime minister, supports Malay nationalism.cnbc.com
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad submits resignation to the king
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at a press conference in Putrajaya, near Kuala Lumpur, on April 15, 2019. Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has submitted his resignation to the king, according to the prime minister's office. The resignation was submitted to the king at 1 p.m. local time on Monday, the statement by the prime minister's office said. It's unclear whether the Malaysian king will accept Mahathir's resignation and what will happen to the ruling coalition that he led, Pakatan Harapan. "While ringgit movements will continue to be market determined, BNM's market operations will ensure sufficient liquidity and orderly financial market conditions," it said in a statement.cnbc.com
Graft ruling for Malaysian ex-leader a test for government
Najib's first trial began in April on seven graft charges related to 42 million ringgit ($10.1 million) that allegedly went into his bank accounts from a former 1MDB unit. More than $700 million from the fund allegedly landed in Najib's bank account. His second trial, the biggest and most complex, started in August. Prosecutors say Najib was the real power behind the fraud in the fund and its local unit. His second trial may last many more months and dates have been set for his other trials.
Trump absent, ASEAN charts path for trade bloc led by China
RCEP aims to level trade barriers between ASEAN members and six other countries in a bloc encompassing nearly a third of all global trade. ASEAN also reported progress toward setting a code of conduct with China regarding disputed waters in the South China Sea. China and its allies in ASEAN, led by Cambodia, have opposed any attempt to use the annual meetings to vilify the Asian economic powerhouse. ASEAN members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The proposed RCEP trade bloc aims to facilitate and set standards for trade among ASEAN and six other nations: China, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
ASEAN meeting grapples with trade war, territorial disputes
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad smiles as he listens to a question during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS), a parallel event to the ASEAN summit in Nonthaburi, Thailand, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Mahathir told business leaders attending ASEAN meetings that they should unite in fighting back if countries try to shut them out of their markets. Many other regional leaders are attending, including Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters that ASEAN trade ministers and counterparts from wealthier Asian countries expect to report to their leaders on Monday that seven years of negotiations on RCEP are "nearing conclusion." Regional leaders asked their trade ministers last year to conclude the negotiations this year.
Malaysia may set aside its belt-tightening plans to save its economy from trade war damage
Malaysia's government will outline its spending plans for next year on Friday and analysts said the country may spend more than it had earlier intended to prop up the economy amid a damaging U.S.-China trade war. The Southeast Asian country had a change in government in last year's general election the first since its independence in 1957. But uncertainties surrounding the trade war between the U.S. and China has dimmed Malaysia's economic growth outlook. Weaker growth typically lowers government revenue, while increasing the need for greater public spending to cushion an economic slowdown. Economists agreed that Malaysia could set aside that target for now.cnbc.com