Muhyiddin loses his majority, what's next?

Published
Modified 10 Jan 2021, 4:30 pm

Good morning! Welcome to the first edition of the Kini Morning Brief. You are among the first to receive our new weekday newsletter.

Coming out of an eventful weekend, here's what you need to know today.

Key Highlights

  • Muhyiddin loses his majority

  • Stricter MCO amid mounting deaths

  • What to expect in 2021




Muhyiddin loses his majority

Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub became the second Umno parliamentarian to renounce Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, after Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Muhyiddin now commands 110 out of 220 MPs, making it a hung Parliament. The 
Batu Sapi and Gerik seats are still vacant.

D
espite this, a divided opposition will help Muhyiddin keep power, for now.

Muhyiddin's confidence cannot be tested until March 8 when the first Dewan Rakyat sitting of the year convenes. Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun is expected 
to block any such efforts.

Muhyiddin will face challenges in getting laws passed. But for now, any efforts to dislodge him can only go through the
Yang di-Pertuan Agong, at least until Budget 2022 goes for a vote in October.


HIGHLIGHTS

Bersatu slams Umno men facing graft for trying to topple PM
A Bersatu leader says they are ignoring the Agong's advice.
Muhyiddin can govern for now despite losing majority 
Experts opine that there is no alternative bloc that has bigger numbers.
Selangor Bersatu eyes PAS if Umno severs ties
State Bersatu chief says the party has to make contingency plans.





Mounting Covid-19 deaths

Behind the scenes of the National Security Council's (NSC) Covid-19 policies is a constant tussle between economic interests put forward by the International Trade and Industry Ministry and public health by the Health Ministry.

The NSC's decision to lean in favour of the economy last month led to the confused policy of lifting interstate travel and tourism restrictions amid increasing Covid-19 cases.

Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, an astute civil servant who does not openly contradict the government, turned to social media in recent days to highlight the worsening pandemic deaths.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin must now play a difficult balancing act. Last year's lockdown sent the deficit soaring. 
On the flip side, Covid-19 hospitals are near maximum bed capacity.

Muhyiddin is expected to 
announce a stricter movement control order (MCO) later today, barring postponement after he was exposed to an infected minister.


HIGHLIGHTS

Noor Hisham: 71 deaths in nine days vs 100 deaths in 9 months
On Twitter, Health DG laments the rapid increase of fatalities.
Tok Pa tests positive for Covid-19
He is the second minister to become infected.
Hospital tells non-emergency cases to stay away
This is amid a spike of Covid-19 cases





What to expect in 2021

Several major developments are expected this year, starting with Umno deciding its future with Bersatu at its annual general assembly on Jan 31.

The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in February, testing the government's ability to roll out a mass vaccination which is already delayed compared to Singapore and Indonesia.

The first Dewan Rakyat sitting of the year will convene in March while the Sarawak state assembly will automatically dissolve in June if snap polls are not called. The Sarawak election must be held by August.

The DAP election must also be held by June, which will see Lim Guan Eng
end his tenure as the party's secretary-general.

Umno and PKR are also scheduled to hold their party elections this year amid internal uncertainties but they could still be postponed to next year.

The million ringgit question, however, is whether Muhyiddin will call for a general election this year.

HIGHLIGHTS

Call for bipartisan command council to tackle Covid-19
MP wants 'unclogging' of the healthcare system, not lockdowns.
Nurul Izzah: Healthier if more leaders work 'behind the scenes'       
She is not keen on returning to active politics.
Muhyiddin visits flood victims in Pahang
Thousands have been displaced during the monsoon season.

 



A daily glance at Covid-19

  • 2,433 new cases yesterday (Jan 10), the sixth consecutive day cases are above 2,000.

  • Bed capacity nearly exhausted with 27,332 Covid-19 patients to 28,674 beds.

  • The upside was there is still plenty intensive care unit and ventilator capacity.

  • Kelantan broke three-digit new cases for the first time during the third wave.

  • Malaysiakini continues to compile daily locations affected by Covid-19 so you can take precautions.




What else is happening?

  • Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz's boast about the country's foreign direct investment turned sour after he was roasted by a foreign investors rep on social media.

  • The Badminton World Federation slapped a lifetime ban on a Malaysian executive at a sports supply firm for match-fixing.

  • The LRT3 contractors finally received partial payment after complaining that Prasarana was withholding money to influence the appointment of sub-contractors.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Penang CM 'takes responsibility' over Mercedes buy
He says the backlash serves as a lesson.
No M'sians on board Sriwijaya plane crash - M'sian Embassy
All on board are Indonesians.
Man claiming links to royalty charged with laundering RM2.45m
He goes by the name 'Tunku Yazzid'.




What are people saying?

The kopitiam visit is more than a storm in a teacup 
By R Nadeswaran
Anti-Lims sentiment is red herring for DAP's genuine failings
By S Thayaparan
MOH's indecisiveness won't save M'sia from Covid-19
By GPS' Bintulu MP Tiong King Sing

 



CARTOON KINI



Thank you for reading the Kini Morning Brief. Your friends can also sign up here to get this newsletter for free. Support our journalism by subscribing to Malaysiakini from RM12/month.