Connect with us

Southeast Asia

Uncertainty as Malaysian PM Mahathir resigns

Jack Burton

Published 

 on 

Uncertainty as Malaysian PM Mahathir resigns | Thaiger
PHOTO: PM Mahathir, right, had the support of would-be successor Anwar Ibrahim, left, to stay on until after November – Malaysiakini

Just days after Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammad was given a mandate by the ruling coalition to stay on until after November’s APEC Summit, he has submitted a letter of resignation to the nation’s king. His office made the announcement today, amid talk of forming a new coalition.

The fate of Malaysia’s current ruling coalition has been in doubt since surprise weekend talks between it and opposition groups on forming a new government, to exclude Mahathir’s anointed successor, Anwar Ibrahim.

The struggle between old rivals, 94 year old Mahathir, and Anwar, aged 72, has dominated Malaysian politics for decades and tension has remained, despite their victorious alliance in 2018’s elections based on a promise that Mahathir would one day hand power to Anwar. Anwar was even jailed for years on questionable sodomy charges, blocking his ascent to the premiership.

“The letter has been sent to His Royal Highness the King at 1pm,” Mahathir’s office said in a statement.

It’s not immediately clear whether Mahathir can form another government with the support of other parties, but his party, Bersatu, also quit the ruling coalition, according to a Facebook post from its president, Malaysian home minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Yesterday, Anwar accused Mahathir’s party and “traitors” in his own party of plotting to form a new government with the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the former ruling party ousted in 2018 amid accusations of graft.

Sources say Bersatu and a faction of Anwar’s party met officials from UMNO and Islamist party PAS, in efforts to form a new coalition and possibly back Mahathir to serve out a full five-year term as prime minister.

The uncertainty, coupled with growing fears about the spreading coronavirus COVID-19, has spooked investors, driving Kuala Lumpur’s stock market benchmark to a 10 year low, while the ringgit slid 0.7% to a nearly six month low, its sharpest drop in more than three years.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World |

 

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

World

North Korea severs ties with Malaysia over “unpardonable” US extradition

Maya Taylor

Published

on

North Korea severs ties with Malaysia over “unpardonable” US extradition | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thomas Evans on Unsplash

The reclusive country of North Korea has confirmed a severing of diplomatic ties with Malaysia after its one-time ally agreed to extradite a North Korean citizen to the US. According to the Bangkok Post, Pyongyang has described the extradition as an “unpardonable crime”, accusing Malaysia of responding to US pressure with blind obedience.

The country’s foreign ministry has announced that all ties with Malaysia have been cut, insisting the North Korean citizen facing extradition was carrying out legal trading activities in Singapore. Following a hearing at Malaysia’s top court on March 9, Mun Chol Myong lost his final appeal against extradition to the US. He denies charges of money laundering, conspiring to launder money, and supplying prohibited items to North Korea.

In the past, a number of businesses in Singapore have been accused of sending items such as expensive liquor and watches to the country, thereby violating sanctions imposed on Pyongyang as a result of its nuclear weapons programmes.

North Korea and Malaysia enjoyed a close relationship until the assassination of the North Korean leader’s half-brother at Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017. Kim Jong Un’s estranged relative, Kim Jong Nam, was killed as he waited to board a flight. An Indonesian woman and a Vietnamese woman were arrested after rubbing a banned nerve agent in Kim’s face. However, murder charges against them were dropped in 2019, with their lawyers arguing that they were merely pawns hired by a group of North Koreans. After hiring and training the women, the men fled Malaysia shortly after Kim’s assassination.

The murder of Kim Jong Nam, widely thought to have been ordered by his half-brother, led to a distinct frostiness in relations between Malaysia and North Korea, with reciprocal visa-free travel pacts cancelled and North Korean coal mine workers in Borneo sent home. It looked like the situation was improving when Malaysia recently announced the re-opening of its embassy in Pyongyang, but the latest developments mean relations are on a downhill trajectory once more.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Malaysia

Malaysia PM imposes nationwide travel ban, lockdown measures due to Covid-19 spike

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Malaysia PM imposes nationwide travel ban, lockdown measures due to Covid-19 spike | Thaiger
PHOTO: Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin - The Star

As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to climb in Malaysia, PM Muhyiddin Yassin imposed a nationwide travel ban and ordered lockdown measures for Kuala Lumpur and 5 other states for the next 14 days. The country’s prime minister says “our healthcare system is at a breaking point.”

Malaysia was able to keep the coronavirus at bay during the early stages of the pandemic with strict disease control measures. Covid-19 cases were consistently around 100 to 200 cases per day and dropped down to zero daily cases for several weeks in July and August.

While lockdown measures were effective at slowing the spread of the virus, it led the country’s first economic contraction in a decade during the second quarter.

The new wave of infections started in September. Yesterday, the country reported 28,554 active Covid-19 cases with 2,232 daily new infections. Since February of last year, Malaysia has reported a total of 138,224 Covid-19 cases and 555 deaths.

Lockdown measures in Kuala Lumpur and 5 states start at midnight Wednesday. Only essential businesses can remain open including those in economic sectors, as long as they reduce capacity. Interstate travel is banned nationwide.

Malaysia secured 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and recently announced that they purchased 12.2 million more doses. The first batch is expected to arrive by the end of February.

Malaysia PM imposes nationwide travel ban, lockdown measures due to Covid-19 spike | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Malaysia as of January 11, according to Worldometers.

SOURCE: Reuters

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading

World

Malaysia coast guard busts record methamphetamine shipment, possibly smuggled from Golden Triangle

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Malaysia coast guard busts record methamphetamine shipment, possibly smuggled from Golden Triangle | Thaiger
PHOTO: New Strait Times

Malaysia’s coast guard made its largest bust, seizing more than 2 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine that was hidden in packets of Chinese tea. The shipment of illegal drugs, worth 105.9 million ringgit, or 789 million baht, is part of a large-scale drug trade across Southeast Asia, China and Australia.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency director general, Mohamad Zubil Mat Som, says the coast guard noticed a recreational boat moving “suspiciously” off Penang island. The coast guard followed the boat, which turned into a chase when the 26 year old Malaysian driver, the only occupant on the boat, refused to stop.

The driver jumped off the boat. The coast guard later found the man and arrested him. There is a mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers in Malaysia.

The coast guard say they found 2.12 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine hidden in packets of Chinese tea, the largest bust in the maritime agency’s 15 year history. Drug shipments busted by the maritime agency in the past were disguised in similar tea packaging. Officials are still investigating to determine where the drugs were shipped from, but Mohamad suspects it came from Myanmar because of the writing on the packaging.

“It is highly possible that the crystal methamphetamine was smuggled from Myanmar’s Golden Triangle.”

Southeast Asian regional representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Jeremy Douglas, says the region needs to step up and think ahead to prevent future drug shipments.

“As big as two-plus tonnes is – and it’s massive – the syndicates that run the drug trade in Asia can easily replace shipments like this… The region needs a forward looking strategy that addresses root causes if they ever hope to get ahead of the situation.”

SOURCE: Reuters| AFP

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism1 month ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | Thaiger
Phuket1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow Thaiger by email:

Trending