‘Everybody is busy playing chess. Most of the pawns are dead’

Yesterday, Yang diPertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah decreed there was no need for an emergency, called politicians to end politicking and the 2021 Budget that is to be tabled next month, is important to address Covid-19 and help the economy.

Almost immediately, there were intense political meetings, plenty of uncertainty and a myriad of speculations including the supposed resignation of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Here’s what has happened since this morning:

  • Chiefs from political parties which form Perikatan Nasional, with the exception of Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who claimed to be ill, met Muhyiddin at Perdana Putra Complex in Putrajaya.
  • Cabinet ministers met Muhyiddin at the complex at 11.30am. The meeting ended at 2pm.
  • Barisan Nasional leaders gathered for an emergency meeting at Menara Dato Onn to discuss the coalition’s views and support for Muhyiddin.

And tonight, Umno’s Supreme Council will meet to make “a decision”.

All these go against the Agong’s statement calling for politicians to work together to stop the Covid-19 menace.

Here’s what also happened this morning.

Senior staff of multinational companies were unable to explain to their colleagues abroad the political situation in the country during their Monday briefing.

They can’t plan ahead. They instead continue to adopt a “wait-and-see” approach to decide if their plans are in line with the government’s policies.

The wait-and-see attitude trickles down to their vendors and partners, mostly SMEs, who are already forced to bear the brunt of cancelled projects and cash flow woes.

Work and school WhatsApp groups were buzzing throughout the day, wondering if it’s back to work or school as the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor was supposed to end tomorrow.

It was only slightly after 5.30pm, that Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob revealed the CMCO was to be extended for another 14 days (Oct 27-Nov 9) in the three areas.

The extension was expected. The number of cases remains high with a record 1,240 Covid-19 cases today.

It will not be surprising if the CMCO will be extended beyond Nov 9 to ensure people do not gather during the Deepavali break.

But there must be an official stand on the matter and such a stand must be made in advance. At least 48 hours, if not 72 hours, in advance to allow employers and school principals to plan ahead.

Even the civil servants are tired of the uncertainty and lack of communication between the government agencies.

The lack of coordination is apparent. Decisions are announced only for details to be provided much later, often leaving people confused and in the dark.

To top it all, apparently, the “rakyat” is at fault for the current political mess despite Malaysians exercising their democratic rights in 2018!

As far as the rakyat is concerned, it was just another day of sheer political “wayang” and “sandiwara” as they continue to wonder what lies ahead of them – health-wise and financially.

Someone well-versed with the saga described it as: “Everybody is busy playing chess. Most of the pawns are dead.”

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.


Grand Margherita Hotel in Kuching has come up with a new initiative to keep business going – Work From Hotel.

For RM30 per person, one can work at several of its working spaces and enjoy free flow coffee or tea, high-speed WiFi and parking.

This could inspire other hotels to carry out the same initiative as this would give those working from home a fresh place work.


Each day for the past week, Boo Soon Yew has been documenting his #MisiBekalPenjara (supply the prisons mission) – an initiative to help families in the Penang Remand Prison quarters in George Town who are under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).

Boo has also extended help to Seberang Prai Prison in Jawi as well as security personnel manning the roadblocks.

His good work has not gone unnoticed as a non-government organisation (NGO) contributed funds to buy supplies and much-needed mattresses and pillows.

“I also approached some of my former schoolmates from Penang Free School and asked them for help. They immediately agreed,” he told Twentytwo13.