Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has fired an early warning shot – stating Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) conditional support should Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob be made Malaysia’s ninth prime minister.
Muhyiddin, who is PN chairman, said in a statement this afternoon that if Ismail Sabri occupies the top seat in Putrajaya, his Cabinet ministers must be those with integrity and free from criminal charges in court.
“The PN government under his (Ismail Sabri’s) leadership must also continue the practice of respecting the separation of powers, protecting the freedom of the judiciary, and upholding the concept of constitutional monarchy,” said Muhyiddin.
“I hope the process of appointing the new prime minister will be carried out smoothly and is confirmed soon, according to the Federal Constitution.
“As chairman of PN, I will continue my service to the rakyat and prepare the party for the 15th General Election when the time comes.”
The statement reinforces talk that Muhyiddin is set to remain a powerful figure within the administration as Ismail Sabri was said to enjoy wafer-thin support (114) among the 220 MPs.
There had also been speculation of Muhyiddin being given a ‘minister mentor’ position, should Ismail Sabri be named prime minister. The former prime minister could, in return, be playing an influential role behind the scenes.
Observers believe the new administration should have a lean Cabinet, but Ismail Sabri could face a similar challenge faced by Muhyiddin, and be forced to offer key positions to both Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia MPs.
This includes having Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin or Datuk Seri Azmin Ali as deputy prime minister.
Muhyiddin, a former senior Umno member, knows the party well and is aware of Ismail Sabri’s rather weak support among Umno’s grassroots.
Ismail Sabri is also struggling to convince certain quarters that he has what it takes to be prime minister, as at press time over 224,000 people have signed a Change.org petition, saying he should not lead the government.
Muhyiddin’s latest statement could somewhat bruise Umno’s ego, for the party had repeatedly placed him in an awkward position in the past, which culminated in the withdrawal of Umno’s support for PN and Muhyiddin.
The infighting, coupled with a series of poor decisions that saw a spike of Covid-19 cases and numerous lockdowns, had resulted in record-high unemployment, more suicides, and businesses closing down.
The country today recorded 22,948 new Covid-19 cases – the highest ever since the pandemic hit Malaysia last year.
Here are Twentytwo13’s news highlights.
FULLY VACCINATED CAN NOW ENJOY MEALS AT EATERIES IN PHASE 1 STATES, STARTING TOMORROW
Caretaker Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said those who were fully vaccinated could enjoy their meals in eateries, starting tomorrow.
This was among the new relaxed rules for those who had received their full Covid-19 vaccinations.
Those under 17 are allowed to follow their parents or guardians who had been fully vaccinated but must observe strict standard operating procedures.
He added non-contact outdoor sports and recreational activities were also allowed, from 6am to 10pm, for those who had been fully vaccinated in Phase 1 states.
Some of the non-contact activities listed by Muhyiddin included cycling, taichi, jogging, skateboarding, equestrian, archery, hiking, tennis (singles), badminton (singles), golf and motor sports.
Camping is also allowed under the relaxed rules.
Night markets and weekend markets will also be allowed to operate, but will only be open to those who had been fully vaccinated.
NEW GOVT MUST STABILISE ECONOMY, SAYS BIZ ASSOCIATION GROUP
Securing more foreign direct investments will help stabilise the nation’s economy, a task the incoming administration must strive to do.
Federation of Malaysian Business Associations treasurer-general, Chris Daniel Wong, who was on Bernama TV this afternoon, said many businesses in the country were in trouble, especially small, and medium businesses.
“There are four types of (business situations) right now – those that have closed shop, some in intensive care unit (ICU), some in pre-ICU and only a small number that has continued to do well and survive,” he said.
He added the new government must re-examine the National Recovery Plan and refine the standard operating procedures so that the daily Covid-19 numbers could be brought down.
HEALTH DG: USE OF DIGITAL HEALTH CRUCIAL IN COVID-19 BATTLE
The continuing research into Covid-19 has helped health authorities understand the coronavirus to better improve clinical care management and public health measures.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah added that the use of digital health, mainly contact tracing and remote health assessments, had proven crucial in the fight against the pandemic.
“To return to the norm of our lives, research continues to play an important role,” Dr Noor Hisham said, when officiating the 14th National Conference for Clinical Research, earlier today.
The three-day virtual conference, which began yesterday, is organised by the Association of Clinical Registries, Malaysia.
Themed “Niche to Norm”, this year’s conference highlights research advancements in precision medicine, clinical trials, and digital health. With 900 delegates attending, the conference features clinical research developments in Malaysia and around the world.
COURT OF APPEAL UPHOLDS 26-YEAR JAIL TERM FOR DAD WHO SEXUALLY ASSAULTED DAUGHTERS
The Court of Appeal today upheld a former lorry driver’s jail sentence of 26 years for sexually assaulting his three daughters, then aged eight, nine and 10, in 2019.
The three-member bench, led by Justice Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, however, allowed the man’s appeal to reduce the whipping, from 24, to 16 strokes.
The other two judges were Justices Datuk Hanipah Farikullah and Datuk P. Ravinthran.
Justice Abdul Karim said the court found that the sentence imposed by the Klang Sessions Court was reasonable and appropriate.
The man pleaded guilty in the Sessions Court on Dec 12, 2019, to four charges of sexually assaulting his daughters between 8am and noon on Oct 28, 2019, at their home in Klang.