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Malaysian Prime Minister sits before parliament for first time this year

Malaysia’s parliament sat for the first time this year on Monday, providing lawmakers an opportunity to question Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin over his government’s handling of the pandemic and the economy.

The five-day session will see Malaysia’s emergency declaration and bills on fake news and penalties for breaching Covid protocols finally laid before the house for legislators to scrutinise. The emergency declaration, which is set to end on Aug 1, handed the government premier wide-ranging powers to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, including shuttering parliament and introducing regulations without legislative approval.

Despite Muhyiddin’s actions, daily coronavirus cases have more than tripled since the emergency was first imposed on Jan 12. Confirmed cases have breached the one million mark and public anger is intensifying. Much of the country remains under lockdown as it added a record-high number of new infections for the third straight day on Sunday.

Monday’s sitting began with lawmakers present expressing their frustration that they were unable to debate or vote on the emergency and the six regulations that the government pushed through during that period. Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan said their point was irrelevant given that government had revoked the regulations from July 21st.

“The best way for Muhyiddin to save himself is to embrace multipartisan governance,” said Wong Chin Huat, a professor of political science at the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway University in Malaysia. Huat went onto say that failure to do this could result in a vote of no confidence.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SCMP.COM

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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