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Anwar one step closer to taking over from Malaysian PM

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Former Malaysian deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim has made his political comeback by winning a by-election at Port Dickson, Malaysia. The results aren’t official but based on exit polls. The result, a strong mandate in a seven-contestant poll, puts him one step closer to taking over the reigns from Mahathir Mohamad, the current Malaysian PM, who committed to handing over the top job in a pact before this year’s national election.

Malaysiakini reports that Anwar was leading by a wide margin, representing close to 70 per cent of the votes cast.

Voters in the Malaysia parliamentary ward of Port Dickson went to the ballot box to pick a new lawmaker on Saturday in a closely watched seven-contestant by-election.

The victory is a crucial step for Anwarn’s political return. It paves the way for his return to Parliament and eventually to become PM under an agreement by the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

Anwar said he was “praying for the best,” when asked about his chances of winning the by-election. Anwar is currently president of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), the core component of the coalition government.

93 year old Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad has promised to stay in office for two years before handing over power to Anwar.

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Philippines

Philippine President Duterte: “Shoot them dead”

Greeley Pulitzer

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Philippine President Duterte: “Shoot them dead” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Straits Times

The president of the Philippines is warning that those who violate his coronavirus lockdown could be shot. He also says abuse of medical workers is a “serious crime that will not be tolerated.”

In a nationally televised address, President Rodrigo Duterte said it’s crucial that everyone cooperates and follows home quarantine measures to try to slow the spread of Covid-19 and prevent the country’s fragile health system from being overwhelmed.

As of yesterday the Philippines had confirmed 96 coronavirus deaths and 2,311 confirmed cases since the breakout. New infections in the Philippines are now being reported in the hundreds every day.

“It is getting worse. So once again I’m telling you the seriousness of the problem and that you must listen. My orders to the police and military … if there is trouble and they fight back and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead. Is that understood? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I will bury you.”

His confronting comments come after reports of a disturbance and several arrests on Wednesday of residents in a poor area of Manila who were protesting about government food aid. They also follow outrage among the medical community about social stigma and cases of hospital workers suffering violence and discrimination. Duterte says this “must be stopped.”

Activists criticise Duterte for his fierce rhetoric and say he’s inciting violence and vigilantism, citing his war on drugs, in which police and gunmen have killed thousands accused of using or selling drugs. Police say their actions in the anti-drug campaign have been lawful. Duterte’s office typically calls his remarks “hyperbole to underline his point.”

The Philippines’ national police chief yesterday said police understood that Duterte is demonstrating his seriousness about public order, and that no one will be shot.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Malaysia’s coronavirus cases will peak in mid-April: WHO

Anukul

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Malaysia’s coronavirus cases will peak in mid-April: WHO | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: rt.com

Today, The World Health Organisation has announced that the number of coronavirus cases in Malaysia is expected to peak in mid-April as there appears there are signs of a flattening of the infection curve. Malaysia is now ranked the highest number of known infections in Southeast Asia with a total of 2,908 confirmed cases with 102 patients that are in intensive care across Malaysia and a total of 45 deaths (followed by Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, in that order).

Malaysia’s health ministry announced yesterday that the rate of new infections appeared to be slowing down due to the restrictions of movements and because Malaysia has ramped up its diagnostic testing capacity in recent days, testing over 7,000 patients a day from last week’s 3,500.

Meanwhile, the WHO’s head of mission and representative to Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, Ying-Ru Lo, says that based on available data, the WHO Country Office has projected that Malaysia will see a peak in hospitalised cases in mid-April. The number of critically ill patients is estimated to reach a peak within the next week.”

“There are initial signs of flattening of the curve, but this could bounce back if control measures are lifted and if people don’t continue to take protective measures.”

Ying-ru also reported that WHO projections could change.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Stranded migrant workers can stay and work in Thailand, for now

Anukul

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Stranded migrant workers can stay and work in Thailand, for now | The Thaiger
PHOTO: khmertimeskh.com

Today the Thai Labour Ministy is allowing stranded workers from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar to stay and work beyond the expiration date of their work permits, due to the recent closure of their borders.

Labour Minister Mom Ratchawongse Chatumongol Sonakul says that the migrant workers are allowed to continue with their work until the borders reopen.

“This decision will benefit 108.586 migrant workers. They consist of 44,222 workers brought into the country to work for 4 years, based on memorandums of understanding with neighbouring countries, and 64,364 workers who hold border passes and work in border areas on a daily seasonal basis.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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