Dr M now interim PM as Agong accepts his resignation

Malaysia is facing an unprecedented politicial situation following the surprise resignation of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its seventh prime minister yesterday, and the exit of his political party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), from the Pakatan Harapan coalition. Adding to the drama was the departure of 11 members of Parliament (MPs) from PKR led by deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. The developments have put in limbo the status of the federal government, as the Pakatan coalition now lacks the simple majority needed in Parliament to remain in power. Bersatu announced that Dr Mahathir has also tendered his resignation as the party’s chairman. Meanwhile, on accepting his resignation as prime minister, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has appointed him as interim prime minister while awaiting the appointment of a new prime minister. It is stipulated that the King may appoint a prime minister among MPs who, in his judgement, is likely to command the confidence of the majority in Parliament. (The Edge)

Agong removes Pakatan ministers after Dr M’s resignation as PM

Members of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Cabinet have been relieved of their duties following his resignation as the prime minister today, Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali announced last night. Mohd Zuki said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong assented today to the revocation of the ministers’ appointments on the prime minister’s advice as provided for under the Federal Constitution’s Article 43(5), adding that this was in line with Dr Mahathir’s resignation. “In this regard, the duties of administrative members (comprising the deputy prime minister, ministers, deputy ministers and political secretaries) have been halted on the same date,” the statement. This is the first time the Cabinet is dissolved outside of the general election season. Typically, the sitting prime minister would dissolve the Cabinet and Parliament ahead of a general election. The government machinery would operate normally, although no policy can be formed until the new government and ministers are sworn in. (Malay Mail)

(Source: Malay Mail)

Malaysia’s political uncertainty will dim economic prospects’

Malaysia’s long-term economic prospects are likely to be dimmed as a result of political uncertainty and increasing polarisation, said Fitch Solutions Group (FSG). It said in a report yesterday that the political instability in Malaysia is shaping up to be a longer-lasting phenomenon than just a temporary issue after the 2018 general election. It noted that the ability to implement sensitive but much-needed reforms to the country’s affirmative action policies, needed to correct inefficiencies and reverse a heavy outflow of talented individuals from ethnic minorities, to especially neighbouring Singapore, will be heavily curtailed. According to FSG, two likely scenarios could take place in the following days which are either that Pakatan Harapan dissolves, and a new coalition forms the government with Dr Mahathir as prime minister, or that there is no new government but Pakatan dissolves, leading to new elections. “In either case, we expect the economy to be weighed down further in the short term due to paralysis in government.” (The Edge)

New petrol station brand to debut in Malaysia

A brand called FIVE is planning to open several fuel stations in the Malaysian market soon, according to a recent report by China Press. The company behind the FIVE brand would be Seng Group, which has been in business for the past 49 years. The number of FIVE petrol stations to be launched are unknown, as well as their locations and fuel supplier. However, Seng Group did point out that it will not rebrand its existing stations, mostly BHPetrol-branded. The first FIVE petrol stations will apparently begin their operation starting in March. Seng Group was born as a petrol station operator in Mentakab, Pahang, back in 1971. The company managed brands like Esso and Mobil at the beginning, and then further expanded into other markets such as property development, constructions, plantations, and transportation. (Petrol Plaza)

(Source: Hype MY)

South Korea Covid-19 cases jump to 833

South Korea reported 231 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, taking total infections to 833, health authorities said on Monday, a day after raising its infectious disease alert to the highest level. It also reported the seventh and eighth deaths from the disease in the country, both from a hospital in Cheongdo, a county where confirmed cases surged in recent weeks, along with nearby Daegu. Almost all major cities and provinces reported some infections. Authorities are still investigating the exact cause of the new outbreak, with Patient 31 having no recent record of overseas travel. President Moon Jae-in said the government should start reviewing the need for a supplementary budget to blunt the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Asia’s fourth-largest economy. Political and cultural events set for this week have been cancelled, and the culture ministry said on Monday that 24 national museums and libraries will temporarily close. (NST Online)