Malaysia News - History

Malaysia News - History

MALAYSIA

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AP Names Malaysia Bureau Chief


Malaysia profile - Timeline

14th century - Conversion of Malays to Islam begins.

1826 - British settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore combine to form the Colony of Straits Settlements, from where the British extend their influence by establishing protectorates over the Malay sultanates of the peninsula.

1942-45 - Japanese occupation.

1948-60 - State of emergency to counter local communist insurgency.

1957 - Federation of Malaya becomes independent from Britain with Tunku Abdul Rahman as prime minister.

1963 - British colonies of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore join Federation of Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia.

1965 - Singapore withdraws from Malaysia, which is reduced to 13 states communist insurgency begins in Sarawak.

Positive discrimination for Malays

1971 - Government introduces minimum quotas for Malays in business, education and the civil service.

1981 - Mahathir Mohamad becomes prime minister.

1989-90 - Local communist insurgents sign peace accord with government.

1998 - Mahathir Mohamad sacks his deputy and presumed successor, Anwar Ibrahim, on charges of sexual misconduct, against the background of differences between the two men over economic policy.

2000 - Ibrahim is found guilty of sodomy and sentenced to nine years in prison. This is added to the six-year jail sentence he was given in 1999 after being found guilty of corruption following a controversial trial.

2001 - Dozens arrested during worst ethnic clashes in decades between Malays and ethnic Indians.

2003 October - Abdullah Ahmad Badawi takes over as prime minister as Mahathir Mohamad steps down after 22 years in office.

2004 - Anwar Ibrahim freed after court overturns his sodomy conviction.

2006 - Malaysia shelves construction of controversial bridge to Singapore.

2009 - Badawi steps down as prime minister and is replaced by his deputy, Najib Abdul Razak.

2014 March - Government and Malaysia Airlines face international criticism over handling of Flight MH370, which goes missing en route to China in unexplained circumstances.

2014 July - Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashes in eastern Ukraine after being shot down by Russian-backed separatists, with the loss of all 298 people on board.

2015 February - Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is jailed for five years after failing to win an appeal against a sodomy conviction.

2015 June - The Wall Street Journal alleges that close to $700m (£490m) from the sovereign wealth fund 1MDB was deposited in Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal bank account.

2016 November - Thousands of anti-government protesters take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Najib over his alleged links to a corruption scandal.

2017 February - Kim Jong-nam, the estranged brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is killed with a nerve agent at a Malaysian airport.

2018 May - Mahathir Mohamad becomes prime minister again as head of an four-party coalition, defeating his erstwhile protege Najib Razak.

2020 March - Muhyiddin Yassin forms government with the UMNO, the former party of Najib Razak, after the surprise collapse of Mahathir Mohamad's coalition.


How Malaysia’s government collapsed in two years

But less than two years later, the new government is out, and the old ruling party back in power. So why did a coalition whose victory had ignited such hopes for change in Malaysia collapse so quickly?

Malaysia has a new prime minister after a week of unprecedented political turmoil and uncertainty. Muhyiddin Yassin is an unassuming career politician who was ejected from the then-government party Umno in 2016.

He joined forces with political heavyweights Mahathir Mohammad and Anwar Ibrahim to form a multi-party, multi-ethnic coalition called Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Together they rode a wave of public anger over corruption to inflict the first-ever election defeat on the Umno-led coalition Barisan Nasional (BN).

But the events of the past week - in which Mr Muhyiddin brought down the government by defecting with more than 30 MPs, and forming an alliance with his old party - have been a shattering blow to those who saw the 2018 election as a watershed, a new beginning for the country.

"I am sorry for failing you. I tried. I really tried to stop them", tweeted Syed Saddiq, a telegenic young Malay politician whose stunning victory in a Johor seat in 2018 was seen as emblematic of the hunger for change.

A member of Mr Muhyiddin's party, Syed Saddiq, is refusing to join him in working with Umno. There have been protests against what is being called a "backdoor government".

"This is utter betrayal," said lawyer and activist Fadya Nadwa Fikri. "People didn't vote for this."

Pakatan was an eclectic coalition, bringing together the reformist Keadilan party of Anwar Ibrahim, the main ethnic Chinese party, the DAP, and two anti-Umno Malay parties, Amanah and Bersatu.

The last was led by Mahathir Mohamad, the veteran former prime minister whose backing was crucial to reassuring ethnic Malays that it was safe to abandon the ruling party.

Pakatan was also supported by a network of civil society organisations which had been campaigning for years against corruption and abuses of power.

Right up to polling day on 9 May 2018 they could not be sure they would succeed in dislodging Barisan. But there was a tangible sense of excitement, of possibilities.

Mr Mahathir had campaigned wittily on the theme of then-prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah as a pair of thieves.

The rising cost of living, and in particular an unpopular sales tax, played into the hands of the opposition. And the Malay vote, normally reliably pro-government, was split three ways, between Pakatan, Barisan and the Islamic party PAS.

When I encountered people at polling stations showing me their Umno veterans' cards, but telling me they were voting for the opposition, it seemed momentum was moving that way.

There was jubilation when Mr Najib conceded the next day. He was the first prime minister from his party to lose an election.

So what went wrong for the Pakatan government?

It was always going to be an uneasy coalition. Mr Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim had a tortuous history going back 30 years.

Mr Anwar, at one time Mr Mahathir's protégé and designated successor, blames him for his first five-year term in prison.

The two men eventually reconciled and agreed that Mahathir Mohamad, who led the election campaign, would be prime minister if they won, but hand over to Anwar Ibrahim after two years. But exactly how and when that would happen was left unsaid.

There were other personality clashes, and differences over how the coalition would deal with an increasingly harsh economic climate.

"We have the same problem of dissatisfaction as we see in many countries," says Ibrahim Suffian, from the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research.

"We have economic growth, but wages have not caught up with the cost of living, particularly among the Malay population, particularly among the young.

"The economy is not generating enough jobs that pay well. That was the challenge the coalition faced, because when they entered government they found that most of the cupboards were bare, and that they had enormous debts that they had to deal with."

Malaysia has been defined by ethnic politics since independence in 1957, and the creation of a Malaysian federation in 1963.

Ethnic Malays make up just over half the population so called "bumiputera", which include other indigenous groups on the Malay peninsular and on Borneo, make up about 68%.

The largest and most successful minority are the Chinese, who migrated to Malaysia during British colonial rule.

Race riots in 1969 persuaded the government that policies favouring bumiputera, and in particular Malays, were essential.

Umno defined itself as the party that looked after the Malays, who tended to be economically less successful than the Chinese. Mahathir Mohamad's 22-year rule in the 1980s and 90s was marked by generous pro-Malay projects, funded by impressive export-led growth.

The downside was rising cronyism and corruption. But Malays still expect government largesse.

It was partly the fear that the Pakatan government, with a large Chinese component, would cut back on that generosity, that has eroded its support among Malays.

A quick trip to a low-income neighbourhood in Gombak, just outside Kuala Lumpur, illustrated this disenchantment.

Here the futuristic highways and high-rises around the city centre give way to drab concrete apartment blocks and rows of small workshops and car-repair garages.

Mohammad Amin, who is building a small café, told me he and his neighbours felt ethnic Malays were not being taken care of as well as in the past.

Muhammad Tarmizi described poorer people in the area as being unable to meet the cost of their most basic daily needs. This government is not looking out for kampung - village - folk, for the Malays, he said.

Although Umno's reputation was badly damaged by the revelations about huge sums of money that went missing in the 1MDB financial scandal, some of it ending up in Mr Najib's personal bank account, the party has been quick to exploit public disappointment over the state of the economy.

So it's little surprise that Pakatan has now lost five out of the last six by-elections. In one contest, in the strategic state of Johor, PH saw its vote drop by more than half.

The crisis broke over the succession. Anwar Ibrahim and his supporters pressed Mr Mahathir for a date, suggesting the two-year anniversary of the election in May. The prime minister refused to be drawn.

Mr Anwar's camp backed off, leaving the decision with Dr Mahathir. But the growing tension within the coalition persuaded Mr Muhyiddin to break away and team up with the other side.

As with every previous crisis in the past 40 years there was an overriding assumption - inside and outside Malaysia - that whatever happened, Mahathir Mohamad, the master manipulator, was pulling the strings, exploiting every twist in a bewilderingly fast-moving drama to ensure he came out on top.

When he stunned the country by tendering his resignation, many of the political factions rushed out to express their support for him to stay in the job.

Even Mr Anwar assured his supporters that, contrary to rumour, Mr Mahathir had not been behind what he was calling a coup against the coalition.

But by the end of the week it was clear that the 94 year-old maestro had miscalculated.

Malaysia's constitutional monarch, King Abdullah, whose role it is to invite a candidate to form a new government, declared that Mr Muhyiddin had the numbers, and would be sworn in as the country's eighth prime minister.

Mr Mahathir has challenged this and could try to bring the new government down once parliament meets again. But incumbency, and the blessing of a revered monarch, are powerful assets for Mr Muhyiddin, which will certainly attract waverers to his side.

"The King cannot make political decisions," says Mustafa Izzuddin at the National University of Singapore.

"But he can play the role of honest broker, bringing the warring sides together. Even then it is unprecedented for a king to do so in Malaysia.

"But Malaysian politics are in uncharted waters, so revolutionary methods may have been necessary. And the King may have seen Muhyiddin as the most trustworthy and steady of the candidates."

It is worth recalling too that Mr Mahathir has a history of conflict with Malaysia's sultans, something that may have been a factor in the King's choice.

Back in 1983 and 1993 he pressed for constitutional changes that imposed limits on royal power.

"In the earlier crisis the role of leading royal resistance to Mahathir was played by the then-Sultan of Pahang, the current king's father," says Clive Kessler at the University of New South Wales.

"Memories and resentments linger on and are not easily forgotten or set aside."

So after less than two years in opposition, Umno is back in power. There are understandable fears that the investigations and trials of Mr Najib, who is still a significant and visible party figure, will be shelved.

Mr Anwar, the man who believed he was destined to be prime minister back in the 1990s, and believed he was promised the job this year, has once again been thwarted.

His repeated career setbacks, over more than two decades, might have come from the plot of one of the Shakespeare tragedies that he read to pass the time while he was serving his two terms in prison.

And Mr Mahathir, one of the most remarkable political survivors of modern times, appears to have run out of road.

As he absorbed the shock of finding himself outmanoeuvred, his wife of 63 years Siti Hasmah put her arms around his waist, in a fierce, protective hug, perhaps hoping that now, a little before his 95th birthday, he might finally retire.


Born Ready Amidst Competition

Despite being a small homegrown store, going up against big-name convenience stores like 7-Eleven didn’t scare Dang too much.

He shared his experience in an interview with Astro Awani in 2017.

“We came from a poor background with not much capital. What we have is energy and talent, so we have to take on it and grow.”

“There are international brands and there are homegrown brands, but homegrown brands can grow to be big and strong too,” said Dang.

In 2007, MyNEWS had already reached its 100th outlet.

By the time they reached their 150th outlet in 2012, Dang signed a 50-50 joint venture with WHSmith Travel, a British retailer similar to MyNEWS, that operates in airports.

Their 200th and 300th outlet followed in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

In the same year, their 300th outlet launched, they also licensed 2 MyNEWS stores in Myanmar’s Yangon International Airport, their first stepping stone into the international market.

While titbits were always a staple in MyNEWS, it didn’t stop Dang from continuously adapting to convenience store trends concerning ready-to-eat food.

They partnered with Gourmet Kineya Co. Ltd and Ryoyu Baking Co. Ltd in 2017 to produce ready-to-eat meals and bakery products for its stores, marking a major upgrade from titbits and snacks.

Both the ready-to-eat meals and bakery products factories are located at a food processing centre in Kota Damansara, where they relocated their HQ to the following year.

The current food processing centres supplying to MyNEWS will also be supplying to CU.


Ka Siong: KLCC train collision first in LRT’s 23-year history, full probe to follow

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — A collision between two trains on the LRT Kelana Jaya line earlier today was the first black mark in the 23 years since it was introduced in Malaysia, Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said today.

The transport minister said he was saddened by the incident and promised a thorough investigation on how things went wrong.

“As part of the government, we are sad to face such incidents because it is the first such accident in over 23 years of the LRT operating in Malaysia.

“The head-on collision is something serious and the Transport Ministry will form a special investigation panel to probe the incident and the Director General of APAD will send the preliminary report of the incident to me tomorrow,” he told reporters at the KLCC LRT station in Avenue K here.

APAD is the Malay acronym for the Land Public Transport Agency.

Wee said assessment and repair works had been immediately ordered to be carried out on the two carriages.

He said shuttle busses would be used to ferry would-be passengers between the KLCC and Kampung Baru LRT stations if the train services could not resume later in the morning.

In detailing the incident, Wee said the collision happened between an empty carriage that was on a test-run and one laden with passengers, but did not offer insights into any preliminary findings of what could have caused the incident.

“One carriage was travelling at 20km/h and another at around 40km/h when the collision happened and this caused a significant jolt that threw some passengers out of their seats and this was how they sustained their injuries.

“As of now I cannot say what is the extent of the damage or disruption to the service, and it is still too early and premature to assume the actual cause,” he said, adding that a full report of the incident is expected to be completed in no less than two weeks’ time.

He said some suffered injuries to their limbs, some on their neck and shoulders, but added how all those who needed medical attention were sent to Hospital Kuala Lumpur for treatment and other nearby hospitals.

Wee added that compensation for victims, for now, is being handled by Prasarana insurance coverage.

The incident earlier today saw a total of 232 victims involved in the accident, with 47 said to suffer serious injuries and 166 with light injuries.


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Contents

Movement Control Order by phase
Phase Date
Movement Control Order (MCO/PKP, 18 March 2020 - 3 May 2020)
Phase 1 18 March 2020 - 31 March 2020
Phase 2 1 April 2020 - 14 April 2020
Phase 3 15 April 2020 - 28 April 2020
Phase 4 29 April 2020 - 3 May 2020
Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO/PKPB, 4 May 2020 - 9 June 2020)
Phase 1 4 May 2020 - 12 May 2020
Phase 2 13 May 2020 - 9 June 2020
Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO/PKPP, 10 June 2020 - 31 March 2021)
Phase 1 10 June 2020 - 31 August 2020
Phase 2 1 September 2020 - 31 December 2020
Phase 3 1 January 2021 - 31 March 2021
MCO by states (11 January 2021 - 31 May 2021)
Each states switch between MCO, CMCO, RMCO, EMCO, and semi-EMCO depending on the COVID-19 condition in each states.
Total lockdown (1 June 2021 - 28 June 2021)
Phase 1 1 June 2021 - 14 June 2021 [4]
Phase 2 15 June 2021 - 28 June 2021

On 16 March 2020, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin made an official speech and officially promulgated the movement control order under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967. [5] The order included the following restrictions:

  1. General prohibition of mass movements and gatherings across the country including religious, sports, social and cultural activities. To enforce this prohibition, all houses of worship and business premises would be closed, except for supermarkets, public markets, grocery stores and convenience stores selling everyday necessities. Specifically for Muslims, the adjournment of all religious activities in mosques including Friday prayers would be in line with the decision made on 15 March 2020 by the Special Muzakarah Meeting of the National Council for Islamic Affairs. [6]
  2. Sanctions covering all Malaysians travelling abroad. For those who have just returned from overseas, they would be required to undergo a health check and a 14-day quarantine (or self-quarantine). [6]
  3. Restrictions on the entry of all tourists and foreign visitors into the country. [6]
  4. Closure of all kindergartens, government and private schools including daily schools, boarding schools, international schools, tahfiz centres and another primary, secondary and pre-university institutions. [6]
  5. Closure of all public and private higher education institutions (IPTs) and skills training institutes nationwide. [6]
  6. Closure of all government and private premises except those involved in essential services (water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, postal, transportation, irrigation, oil, gas, fuel, lubricants, broadcasting, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire, prison, port, airport, safety, defence, cleaning, retail and food supply. [6]

On 18 March, Malaysia began the implementation the movement control order. On 25 March, the prime minister through a live national broadcast announced a first extension of the MCO to last until 14 April. [7] [8]

There were, however, considerations of a further lockdown until late April or May as the number of cases in Malaysia is expected to peak in mid-April, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). [9] [10] On 8 April, Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the health ministry was having a discussion with the nation's cabinet regarding the possible extension of the MCO, with the decision of the MCO's duration to be announced no later than Friday. [11] [12] On 10 April, the prime minister announced a second extension of the MCO by another fortnight until 28 April, noting that his decision was to give space to the healthcare personnels battling the COVID-19 outbreak, apart from preventing the virus from spreading again and to avoid another increase of cases if the MCO is lifted too early. [13] On the night of 23 April, Muhyiddin announced a third extension of the MCO by two weeks till 12 May, with the possibility of further extensions. [14]

The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) initially warned that violators of the MCO's regulation may be subjected to various penalties under the Penal Code. [15] However, on 18 March, the chamber of the Attorney General released a federal gazette specific to the control order, where violations can be fined up to RM1,000 (US$229) and/or jailed not more than six months or both. [16] On 14 April, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob stated that compounds will no longer be issued by the police from the next day as the penalties were ineffective on reducing MCO violations, and offenders will be arrested and remanded instead. [17]

Except for travel to Sarawak, a written police permit with a valid reason was originally planned to be required for interstate travel during the MCO. [18] As a result, large crowds were reported to have gathered at police stations for permits hours before the travel restriction was in effect. Concerned that the crowding will exacerbate the spread of COVID-19, PDRM called off the permit plan a few hours before the MCO, until further notice. [19]

During the MCO, PDRM conducted road blocks operations (codenamed "Ops COVID-19") along key points across the country, [20] to monitor travellers and warn them to stay home and abide by the order. [21] [22] [23] From 22 March, Malaysia's military forces were mobilised to augment PDRM's MCO operations as of April, approximately 7,000 military personnel were deployed to assist. [24] [25] From 4 May, in line with the Conditional MCO, PDRM is planning to reduce roadblocks nationwide to focus on social distancing enforcements as well as curbing the entry of illegal immigrants and smuggling activities. [26]

On 30 March, the national government designated that all businesses such as supermarkets and restaurants, including food delivery services can only be operated from 8AM till 8PM starting from 1 April. [27] Sarawak, however, insisted on its operation time of 7AM till 7PM, citing that Sarawak's daylight is earlier than in West Malaysia. [28] Further measures were instilled starting from 1 April a person must not be accompanied with other people during travel, a 10 km travel radius for all travellers and the banning of all types of gatherings except for funerals, however the attendees must be kept to a minimum. [29] People who travel for medical purposes are exempted from companion rule and the travel radius. [30]

All levels of supply chains regarding agricultural and fishing industries are allowed to be in operation throughout the order. [31] On 10 April, the Malaysian government gave permissions to certain businesses to operate during the order to ensure the sustainability of the country's economy, to prevent the loss of jobs among Malaysians and to ensure continuous access to basic needs and critical products. [32]

The Malaysian Government had eased lockdown restrictions on 4 May under a "conditional MCO," which allowed certain business sectors to resume operations. On 10 May Prime Minister Muhyiddin announced in a live broadcast, that the CMCO will be extended until 9 June, the fourth extension since 18 March. Muhyiddin Yassin clarified that all rules and standard operating procedures (SOPs) introduced during the conditional MCO would remain in force until 9 June and that any changes to the SOPs or the list of sectors allowed to operate will be announced. There will be a ban on interstate movement during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the Kaamatan Feast and Hari Gawai holiday periods. [33] [34]

Enhanced Movement Control Order Edit

From 27 March 2020, specific locations were subjected to a stricter order, known as the "Enhanced Movement Control Order" (EMCO or Enhanced MCO), for 14 days if a large cluster was detected within the area for the government to conduct a thorough COVID-19 test towards all residents, and to curb the spread of the virus out of the areas. The orders included: [35]

  • All residents and visitors within the area are forbidden from exiting their homes during the order
  • non-residents and visitors outside the area cannot enter into the area subjected to the order
  • All businesses are shut down
  • adequate food supplies will be given by the authorities during the 14 day-order to all residents
  • a medical base will be established within the area
  • All roads into the area are blocked.

On 27 March, two areas in Simpang Renggam, Johor were subjected to the order till 9 April as those areas alone contributed to a high 61 positive cases. [35] On 30 March, this order is applied to a few hamlets in Sungai Lui, Hulu Langat District, Selangor due to a detection of a cluster involving a madrasa with 71 positive cases. [36] City One, a residential complex in Jalan Munshi Abdullah, Kuala Lumpur which its residents are mainly foreign workers was subjected to the extended order on 31 March as 17 cases involving residents of the tower were detected. [37] Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion, apartment buildings located at Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur, were subjected to EMCOs on 7 April, as 15 positive cases were detected within the two buildings, [38] while Jalan Masjid India and its surrounding areas were subjected to EMCOs on 14 April. [39] Similarly, an EMCO order was placed for over 15,000 residents living around the Kuala Lumpur Wholesale Market in Selayang on 20 April until 3 May, following the detection of 20 cases and one fatality from the area. [40]

On 6 April, Malaysia's Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, suggested that the government is planning for a new standard operating procedure regarding the EMCO and the government tried to not impose an excessively wide radius towards areas subjected to the EMCO. [41]

On 9 November, the Government extended the Enhanced Movement Control Order over several areas in Sabah, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Sarawak in response to a spike in cases nationwide. [42]

Semi Enhanced Movement Control Order Edit

From 14 May 2020, Pudu area in Kuala Lumpur comes under semi enhanced movement control order (SEMCO). Soldiers and police put up barbed wire fences at road exits. It is understood that besides Jalan Pudu, the affected roads are Jalan Kancil, Jalan Pasar, Jalan Landak, Lorong Brunei 2 and Lorong Brunei 3. Several busy commercial districts in the Klang Valley have been put under various lockdowns, including the enhanced movement control order (EMCO).

Relaxation of restrictions Edit

As the number of daily cases and active cases of COVID-19 reduced in Malaysia by mid-April, the government had relaxed several measures of the MCO. Transport Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong confirmed that all public transportation services would resume on 4 May but would abide by social distancing measures. [43] On 30 April, the Government announced that two family members will be allowed to buy food and other daily essentials as part of the relaxation of MCO restrictions. [44]

On 21 June, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that couples whose marriage registration had been delayed as a result of the Movement Control Order could not complete the process at all permitted NGOs in the country including clan organisations, temples, churches, and religious bodies. [45]

Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) Edit

Muhyiddin Yassin in his Labour Day speech on 1 May announced a plan named the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO or Conditional MCO), a relaxation of regulations regarding the MCO, with its main goal was to reopen the national economy in a controlled manner. [46] The CMCO was scheduled to start from 4 May. [46] The regulations of the CMCO as stated in his speech included: [47]

  • most economic sectors and activities are allowed to operate while observing the business standard operating procedures such as social distancing and recording the names and telephone numbers of customers and the dates of their visit
  • sports activities involving large gatherings, body contact and other risks of infection are not allowed, including all indoor and stadium sports events. Outdoor sports activities which do not involve body contact, in small groups without an audience and involving not more than 10 persons are allowed on the condition that social distancing is practised
  • social, community and cultural events which involve large gatherings as well as all types of official events and assemblies are not permitted. Religious activities and all congregational or assembly activities in houses of worship are not allowed
  • interstate travel, including the balik kampung tradition for the oncoming Eid al-Fitr is not allowed except for work purposes and to return home after being stranded in the hometowns or elsewhere.

However, the CMCO received mixed reactions among state governments around Malaysia. [48] The states of Kedah, Kelantan, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak decided to not implement the CMCO by 4 May, either to give way to discussions regarding the implications of reopening economic sections towards the future trend of Malaysia's pandemic or to secure the positive development of the pandemic. [49] The governments of Selangor and Perak restricted some business sectors operating during the CMCO while Negeri Sembilan only allowed economic sectors to reopen. [48] [49] The government of Penang on the other hand had implemented a three-phase gradual reopening till 13 May. [48]

The CMCO received backlash by politicians, health experts and the general public over concerns of a possible resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia due to the seemingly reckless and unnecessary relaxation of the MCO the federal government responded by stating that the CMCO is stricter than relaxation measures taken in other countries. [50] [51] By 3 May, over 420,000 members of the public had signed a petition of objection to the conditional MCO and urging the government to stay with the MCO. [52]

On 7 November, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Malaysian Government would be reinstating the CMCO throughout most of Peninsular Malaysia except Kelantan, Perlis, and Pahang between 9 November and 6 December 2020. Besides, CMCO measures for Sabah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya, which were scheduled to end on 9 November, were extended until 6 December. Under these new CMCO measures, all educational institutions, social and cultural activities will be required to cease but economic activities can continue under set standard operating procedures. [53]

On 13 November, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Malaysian Government would allow three people from the same household per car, easing an earlier CMCO restriction limiting cars to just two people following a public backlash. [54]

On 20 November, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob approved a domestic travel bubble programme within green zones. He also announced the elimination of CMCO restrictions within in the states of Johor, Kedah, Malacca, and Terengganu with the exception of certain districts. [55]

On 5 December, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that the Conditional Movement Control Order would end for most states except Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, most of Selangor, and parts of Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan and Perak where the CMCO would be extended until 20 December. [56]

On 7 December, the National Security Council lifted the cap on the number of diners allowed to share tables at restaurants in areas under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) including Kuala Lumpur. [57]

On 18 December, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob extended the CMCO in Kuala Lumpur and much of Selangor with the exception of Sabak Bernam, Hulu Selangor, and Kuala Selangor from 21 December to 31 December 2020. [58] In addition, the CMCO was extended in Sabah and several districts in Negri Sembilan, Johor, Penang, and Perak until 31 December. Meanwhile, the CMCO in certain districts of Kedah and Kelantan will revert to Recovery Movement Control Order on 20 December. [59]

On 28 December, the National Security Council extended the CMCO in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor from 1 January until 14 January in response to a surge in cases and clusters in those areas. [60]

Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) Edit

On 7 June, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the Conditional Movement Control Order would end on 9 June, with the country entering into the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) phase between 10 June and 31 August. [61] The Prime Minister also announced that interstate travel would be allowed from 10 June under the RMCO except in areas remaining under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO). [62]

In most areas, certain religious activities at mosques are allowed again, but with many restrictions. In Selangor, for example, Muslims are only allowed to go to certain mosques for Friday prayers after receiving an invitation from the mosque authorities, or after having their application accepted by the religious authorities. The number of attendees is also restricted to 40, and then later to 150 people only, [63] as they are instructed to bring their own prayer mats and only sit within their own prepared spaces, distanced a metre away from each other. In Kuala Lumpur, several mosques operated on a 'first-come, first-served' policy. [64]

On 26 June, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that sectors under the purview of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture such as meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions, travel and trade fairs, as well as a spa, wellness and reflexology centres would be allowed to open from 1 July. However, tourism businesses are required to abide by social distancing measures, limit crowds to 200-250 people, check customers' temperatures, wear face masks, and provide hand sanitizer. While reflexology centres provided by the blind are allowed to reopen, only Malaysians can work in spas, wellness, and reflexology centres. Ismail Sabri also announced that tuition centres, special education schools and private schools would be allowed to operate soon. [65]

On 29 June, it was reported that both government and private pre-schools, kindergartens, nurseries and daycare centres would resume operations from 1 July. Under the RMCO, a range of businesses and activities have been allowed to resume operations including spas, wellness and foot massage centres, cinemas, meetings, seminars, weddings, birthdays, and religious gatherings. Besides, swimming in public, hotel, condominium, gated community and private pools have also been allowed. [66]

On 3 July, Religious Affairs Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri clarified that foreigners would not be allowed to attend congregational prayers at mosques and surau until the Department had studied reports from the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department regarding the situation. Zulkifli expressed hope that the situation would be resolved within a month or two. [67]

On 10 July, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that family entertainment centres including game arcades, karaoke centres, indoor funfairs, edutainment centres for children, and kids' gymnasiums could resume operations from 15 July. [68]

On 28 August, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced the extension of the RMCO by a further 4 months until 31 December 2020. [69] [70] [71]

On 1 January 2021, Senior Minister Dato Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the RMCO has been extended to 31 March 2021 as cases are still high. [72]

Travel Edit

On 5 December, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Government would allow unrestricted interstate travel across states and districts from 7 December with the exception of areas under an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO), which will still require a police permit. [56]

Reinstatement of MCO restrictions, January–February 2021 Edit

On 11 January 2021, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that Movement Control Order restrictions would be re-introduced to the states of Malacca, Johor, Penang, Selangor, Sabah and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Labuan between 13 until 26 January 2021. It was dubbed as MCO 2.0 widely. These restrictions include:

  • Banning travel between states and districts
  • Limiting travel 10 km away from homes
  • Stay at home orders
  • Only allowing two people per household to travel in cars and buy groceries
  • Banning social gatherings including weddings, seminars, and sports
  • Eateries and hawker stalls can only provide takeaway services and deliveries
  • Only five essential economic sectors allowed to operate: manufacturing, construction, services (including supermarkets, banks and health services), trade and distribution and plantations
  • Outdoor recreational activities limited to people from the same household
  • Non-essential workers to work from home and
  • Five person limit at mosques and other places of worship. [73]

On 15 January, Prime Minister Muhyiddin announced that MCO restrictions would be reimposed on Kelantan and Sibu, Sarawak between 16 and 29 January in response to a surge of cases. [74] On 21 January, several betting outlets in peninsular Malaysia and Sabah announced they were closing until 4 February to comply with the Government's new Movement Control Order. [75]

On 21 January, Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Government would be allowing restaurants, food stalls and food deliveries in states under the MCO to operate until 10pm starting 22 January, easing a week-long rule of only allowing operations to run until 8pm. [76] On 21 January, the Malaysian Government extended the country's MCO restrictions in Selangor, Penang, Johor, Malacca, Sabah and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan until 4 February due to a continuation of rising cases and deaths. [77]

On 2 February, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob extended MCO restrictions over all states except Sarawak from 5 to 18 February 2021. [78] On 4 February, Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that three business activities night markets, hair salons, and car wash services would be allowed to operate under a strict operating procedure from 5 February onwards as Phase One together with some businesses. [79]

On 9 February 2021, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that dining in and retail shops are allowed to open, subject to rule of 5 per table which is being implemented from 10 February 2021, moving from Phase One to Phase Two. However, the Phase Two will only exist until July 2021. [80]

On 11 February, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that gym activities, golf, table tennis, badminton and tennis would be allowed from 12 February with social distancing and time restrictions. [81]

On 13 February, the National Unity Ministry confirmed that non-Muslim places of worship would be allowed to start reopening from 12 February for the remainder of the Movement Control Order, which is scheduled to end on 18 February 2021. [82]

On 16 February, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob extended the MCO for Selangor, Johor, Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile, Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Kelantan, Melaka, Pahang and Sabah as well as the federal territories of Putrajaya and Labuan transitioned back into the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). [83]

On 25 February, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) sector in states under the Movement Control Order would be allowed to resume from 5 March 2021. [84]

Transition to CMCO, March 2021 Edit

On 5 March 2021, Selangor, Johor, Penang and Kuala Lumpur exited the Movement Control Order lockdown and entered the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). This coincided with the launch of Malaysia National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, which commenced the previous week. [85]

On 12 March, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas confirmed that the CMCO in Sarawak would be extended by a further two weeks from 16 March to 29 March. [86]

The CMCO in Sarawak was extended for two more weeks from 13 April until 26 April 2021. [87] The Sarawk Disaster Management Committee subsequently extended the CMCO until 10 May and then 17 May. [88]

The Conditional MCO (CMCO) has been extended to 28 April 2021 in Johor, Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang. The Recovery MCO (RMCO) has been extended in Sabah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan (except Serembat district under CMCO), Kedah (except Kuala Muda district under CMCO), Pelis, Perak, Terengganu, W.P Putrajaya and W.P Labuan from 13 to 28 April 2021. [89]

Reinstatement of MCO 3.0 Edit

Movement Control Order restrictions were reimposed in Kelantan from 16 April until 29 April 2021, before being extended until 17 May 2021. [90] [91]

From 3 May 2021, the Malaysian Government reimposed a two-week Movement Control Order in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Sarawak, and Selangor in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Schools were closed and social and religious activities were banned. While some economic activities were allowed, eateries can only provide takeaway services. [92]

From 6 May until 17 May 2021, the Malaysian Government re-imposed a two-week Movement Control Order in Selangor (except Sabak Bernam, Hulu Selangor, Kuala Selangor), in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases. [93] MCO restrictions were also reimposed on Kuala Lumpur, Johor (Johor Bahru, Kulai, Kota Tinggi), Terengganu (Besut), and Perak (Larut Matang & Selama, Mukim Taiping) between 7 and 20 May 2021. [93] [94] The government has also imposed a nationwide ban on inter-district travel from 10 May until 6 June 2021. [95]

On 8 May, Senior Minister (Security) Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that the Malaysian Government would not implement a nationwide movement control order but will instead use targeted movement restrictions in response to local outbreaks. [96] That same day, Ismail also confirmed that all interstate and inter-district travel without police approval would be banned nationwide from 10 May to 6 June 2021. [97]

On 10 May, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that a nationwide Movement Control Order lockdown would be reinstated from 12 May to 7 June. Dining in, social activities and shopping areas will be banned, although workers are allowed to go to work and come back home. Inter-district and inter-state travel are banned. [98]

A stricter form of the Movement Control Order lockdown was suggested by the government on 22 May. It was imposed on 25 May and lasts for two weeks. Under the updated form of the Movement Control Order, shoppers are only allowed to visit shopping malls and restaurants for only two hours. [99] Shopping malls and eateries can only operate until 8pm, and all sea and land transport services can only operate up to 50% of their capacity. [100] [101]

Sabah used a slightly different form of the Movement Control Order from 25 May onwards. Under its modified MCO, food and beverage outlets, grocery shops, self-service laundromats, and other businesses can only operate until 9pm all restaurants can only operate until 10pm customers visiting shopping malls, restaurants, grocery stores, hypermarkets, and mini-markets may be inside the premises for one hour and said premises can only operate up to 50% of their capacity, with at least 200 square feet per customer. [102]

Total lockdown Edit

On 28 May, Prime Minister Muhyiddin announced that a nationwide "total lockdown" will be imposed on all social and economic sectors in Malaysia from 1 June to 14 June 2021. Under this lockdown, only essential economic and social services listed by the National Security Council will be allowed to operation. This will be followed by a second phase lasting four weeks from 14 June under which more sectors will be allowed to reopen, provided these activities do not involve large gatherings. The new master plan for exiting the lockdown will be announced in July 2021. [103] [104]

On 12 June 2021, the Malaysian Government extended the country's total lockdown by another two weeks until 28 June since daily new cases are still averaging over 5,000. [105]

Measures by state and territories Edit

Johor Edit

On 2 November, the Ministry of Health's Training Institute in Johor Bahru was placed under an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) after 46 trainees tested positive for COVID-19. This EMCO will affect 1,559 people including students, teachers, and their families. [106]

Kedah Edit

On 3 August, four sub-district in Kubang Pasu were placed under EMCO due to increased new cases caused by Nasi Kandar restaurant in Napoh town. [107]

On 10 September, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob placed an enhanced movement control order (MCO) on the district of Kota Setar from midnight 11 September to 23 September following an increase in COVID-19 cases. Residents will not be allowed to leave the area and outsiders will not be allowed to enter. [108]

Kuala Lumpur Edit

On 7 June, the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan announced that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall will allow open markets, morning markets, night markets and bazaars to reopen in stages following the implementation of the Recovery Movement Control Order on 15 June. [109]

Labuan Edit

On 15 October, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob placed the federal territory of Labuan under a conditional movement control order, which would run from 17 October to 30 October. Under this lockdown, all economic activities will be allowed to operate but religious, cultural, and social sectors including schools and kindergartens will remain close. [110] [111] The conditional movement control order in Labuan was subsequently extended from 31 October until 13 November. [112]

Negeri Sembilan Edit

On 30 September, Negeri Sembilan's Human Resources, Plantation and Non-Islamic Affairs committee chairman J. Arul Kumar announced that the annual ten-day Deepavali carnival, which had been scheduled to be held between 4 and 13 November, had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic following advice from the National Security Council. [113]

Pahang Edit

From 21 to 31 March, the state of Pahang has enacted that all business stores in Kuantan, Pekan, Bentong, Jerantut and Temerloh (Cameron Highlands had already begun to implement the measure on 16 March) must only operate during the day up to 12 hours, and need to close after 7 PM to 7 AM. According to the measurement, all shops that were originally allowed to operate during the period of the control order, including drive-thru restaurants, fast food restaurants, and petrol stations, are no longer allowed to operate between 7 PM and 7 AM. [114] From 1 April, PDRM's state division tightened state borders and set up roadblocks on the state's major highways. [115]

Perak Edit

Wholesale market operating hours in Perak during the MCO were designated from 4 AM to 10 AM, however, from 6 April, wet food-related businesses such as poultry and seafood were designated from 4 AM to 10 AM, while businesses for vegetables and fruits were designated from 11 AM to 4 PM. The closure from 10AM till 11PM was dedicated for cleaning processes. [116]

Sabah Edit

On 10 September Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that an enhanced MCO would be placed around Tawau prison from 11 September till 23 September, affecting prisoners, inmates and their families. During this period, visitations will not be allowed. [108]

On 28 September Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that an enhanced MCO would be enforced in Lahad Datu, Tawau, Kunak, and Semporna between 29 September and October 12. During that period, residents will not be allowed to leave the four districts, non-residents and visitors would be barred from entering, and all business activities except those providing essential goods and services would have to cease. [117]

On 5 October, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the state capital Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, and Putatan would be placed under a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) commencing 7 October. Under the conditional MCO, travel into these districts will be limited, express and transit buses will not be allowed to operate, and only essential services such as food and health services will be allowed to operate. [118] The following day, Senior Minister Ismail announced that the federal government would ban most interstate travel to and from Sabah with the exceptions of emergencies, deaths, and essential services subject to approval from the Ministry of Health. Travel would be limited to Sabah natives, essential workers, civil servants working in Sabah, and permanent residents residing in Sabah. [119]

On 2 November, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the EMCOs at the Kepayan Prison and Taman Mat Salleh Prison Quarters in Kota Kinabalu would be extended by two weeks until 16 November. [106]

On 7 May 2021, the Sabah state government banned any non-essential inter-district travel for the duration of a CMCO lockdown between 10 and 16 May. For the duration of the CMCO, Kota Kinabalu, Putatan and Penampang would be considered to be one district. [120]

Sarawak Edit

On 27 July, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Malaysian government will limit inter-zone (Zone 1: Kuching, Samarahan and Serian division. Zone 2: Sri Aman, Betong, Sibu, Sarikei, Mukah, Kapit, Bintulu, Miri and Limbang division) movement in Sarawak between 1 and 14 August at the request of the Sarawak Government to curb the spread of COVID-19 within that state, particularly around the state capital Kuching. [121]

On 6 December, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) allowed spas, wellness and reflexology centres in the state to resume operations effective from 7 December. [122]

On 29 May, 2021, Sarawak's government imposed a stricter lockdown for two weeks until June 11. Under the lockdown's rules, movement from 10pm to 5am is not allowed except in emergencies, and children under the age of 12 are not allowed to go to crowded places like shopping malls. [123]

Selangor Edit

On 10 October, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that weddings would be limited to 250 people in the Klang District. An earlier announcement had limited weddings to 500 people. [124]

On 14 October, the Klang Valley was placed under a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) with inter-district movement prohibited until 27 October. 96 roadblocks were set up to enforce this movement restriction with only workers with valid passes and authorisation letters being able to travel between districts. While offices, restaurants, and shopping malls remain open, they are subject to stricter health and social distancing rules. The CMCO also affects the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, which lie within the boundaries of Selangor. [125] [126]

On 20 October, employees in the private and public sectors, at the management and supervisory levels, in areas under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) have been instructed to work from home starting Thursday, 22 October. [127]

On 1 February 2021, the "State Investment, Industry and Commerce, and Small and Medium Entreprises" (SMEs) chairman Teng Chang Khim announced that Selangor's Chinese New Year celebration will be held online via social media due to the ongoing pandemic. [128]

On 17 May, the Malaysian Health Ministry indicated that it may order a total shutdown in Selangor if current Movement Control Order restrictions are unable to curb a sharp spike in cases in that state. [129]

Terengganu Edit

The Royal Malaysia Police in Terengganu planned to impose traffic control based on vehicle registration numbers, where vehicles with odd or even registration numbers are only allowed to travel during odd- or even-numbered days, respectively, starting 1 April. The plan was later postponed the day before the rollout to allow a detailed study of the proposed control. [130]

Kelantan Edit

CMCO in whole Kelantan is launched on 21 November until 6 December 2020. It is then extended for Kota Bharu, Machang, Pasir Mas and Tanah Merah from 7 December until 20 December 2020. Kubang Kerian in Kota Bharu & Kusial in Tanah Merah will continue the CMCO from 12 December until 20 December 2020, while other districts CMCO is lifted and change back to RMCO.

MCO2.0 in Kelantan started from 16 January until 18 February 2021. Then, it is changed from MCO2.0 back to CMCO from 19 February to 15 April 2021.

But, due to the sudden rapid surge in new cases in Kelantan areas, government had announced that 7 districts in Kelantan involving Tumpat, Kota Bharu, Pasir Mas, Machang, Bachok, Pasir Puteh and Tanah Merah will enter MCO3.0 from 16 April until 29 April 2021. After that, the remaining district in Kelantan, which are Jeli, Kuala Krai and Gua Musang will start implementing MCO3.0 together with the remaining districts from 22 April to 29 April 2021. As what government announced on 27 April in his press conference, MCO3.0 in whole Kelantan is extended again from 30 April to 17 May 2021.

During this period, primary and secondary schools in all 7 districts stated will be changed to online class temporarily from 24 April until 12 June 2021.

National Recovery Plan Edit

On 15 June 2021, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin introduced a four-phase National Recovery Plan to help the country emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout.

As each phase is based on the amount of new cases, people requiring ICU treatment, and vaccination rates (by having two shots), it can be extended, or moved on to the next phase, whenever possible.

Phase 1 Edit

The conditions are the same as the current MCO. No social gatherings, dine-in eating at restaurants, interstate travel (except with approval by police) and non-essential services are permitted. Any remaining workplaces are required to have their workers work from their homes. This phase, based on the critical condition of the healthcare services, may last until July.

Phase 2 Edit

If more people get vaccinated, ICU bed usage has went down to a moderate level and new cases keep going down below 4,000 the country will move on to the next phase. Under this phase:

  • Industries like cement manufacturing and electrical items will be allowed
  • More economic sectors will be reopened
  • Some sectors may now permit up to 80% of their workers

This phase will be expected to start on early July.

Phase 3 Edit

The country will move unto Stage 3 once daily cases have went down to 2,000 the healthcare system has returned to a manageable level ICU cases have been reduced to an adequate amount and 40% of the people have been vaccinated twice. Under this phase:

  • Parliament may reconvene
  • All economic sectors will be allowed, except those with large crowds (such as conventions, bars, salons, spas)
  • Education and sports will be allowed in stages
  • All manufacturing activities will be permitted, and capacity limits will be relaxed when all the workers in a place are vaccinated.

This phase will be expected to start on late August.

Phase 4 Edit

The country will move unto Stage 4 once daily cases have dropped to 500 the healthcare system becomes safe as ICU cases become low enough and 60% of the people have been vaccinated twice. Under this phase:

  • Pre-pandemic norms will continue
  • All economic sectors will be reopened
  • Social activities will resume to some degree
  • Interstate travel will be allowed according to SOPs.

This phase will be expected to start on late October. [131] [132] [133]

Industries Unite (a coalition of 110 local trade groups) has criticised the National Recovery Plan as being unclear. [134]

Arrests and crime Edit

Despite the past condemnation, the Malaysian authorities have arrested hundreds of people for violating the Movement Control Order since mid-April. Violators are fined, jailed or sent to perform community service as part of their punishment. The sentence jail term ranges from 2 days to several months. Violators unable to pay their fines will have to serve prison sentences. [135]

According to a Human Rights Watch report, 15,000 people had been arrested by 18 March for breaching the movement control order. On 2 April 2020, Minister of Defence Ismail Sabri Yaakob reported that 4,189 individuals had been arrested over the past two weeks for flouting the movement control order. Of these, 1,449 individuals have been charged in court. [136] On 3 May, Nurul Hidayah Ahmad Zahid, the daughter of President of UMNO, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi her husband, Saiful Nizam Mohd Yusoff were caught for flouting the MCO. [137]

After the director-general of the Malaysian Prison Department raised concerns about prison overcrowding, the Malaysian Government shifted to fine violators. On 15 April, the Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the police would be criminally prosecuting violators and detained them in thirteen police academies that had been converted into makeshift detention centres. [138] Human rights organisations condemned the move as it further promotes the spread of coronavirus due to overcrowding in prisons. In late April, Human Rights Watch's Asia Director Phil Robertson called on the Malaysian government to stop jailing people who had flouted the movement control order, but recommended the use of the newly built facilities to keep lockdown violators. [138]

The MCO has led to a decrease in the national crime rate by around 70%. [139] Data from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development suggested a slight increase of domestic violence nationwide during the MCO, however in control. [140]

On 20 June, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that 48 individuals had been arrested by the Royal Malaysian Police's Compliance Operations Task Force for violating the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO). Ten of these were arrested for engaging in reflexology and massaging activities while 38 were charged with violating social distancing rules. 3,774 compliance teams are consisting of 16,675 personnel. [141]

On 4 July, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob confirmed that 77 people had been arrested as of 3 July for violating the RMCO including initiating contact sports activities (15), pub and night club activities (12) and violating standard operating procedures (SOPs). 495 constructions sites were reported to have violated standard operating procedures while 2,738 have complied with SOPs. [142]

Economy Edit

With the country known as the world's top rubber glove maker, concerns have risen especially from the European Union (EU) over the impacts of the movement control to Malaysia's glove exports especially with the increasing glove shortages among European healthcare sectors. [143] This subsequently led the EU to send a letter on 25 March to the Malaysian counterpart for the relaxation of the movement control order on the glove sectors. Through a positive replied made by the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry to allowing continuous operations, a letter was subsequently distributed by the Malaysia Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association on 27 March to glove manufacturers in the country to allowing their factories to remain open from 1 April. [143] The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also had removed a ban on glove exports to the United States by a Malaysian glove company previously accused of using forced labour as part of the American government efforts to boost supplies of their healthcare sectors due to the increasing shortages of medical equipment caused by the pandemic. [144]

Education Edit

The Prime Minister had instructed the Ministry of Education to implement home-based learning initiatives throughout the duration of MCO as schools nationwide were closed during the period. [145] Assessments and examinations for various national higher education programmes were cancelled as some institutes were converted into temporary surveillance and quarantine centres, and students' performance evaluations were replaced by continuous assessment scores. [146] Also, the national examination, SPM was delayed to January 2021 from the originally scheduled November 2020.

On 10 June, Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin confirmed that schools throughout Malaysia would begin reopening in stages from 24 June, with priority being given to students taking secondary and equivalent international leaving exams. [147] [148] As part of social distancing measures, students will have their temperatures tested, will have to sit at least one-metre apart, and schools will serve pre-packaged food. [148]

On 23 June, the Ministry of Education announced changes to school term holidays in order to help schools better plan lessons that had been disrupted by the pandemic and Movement Control Order. The mid-term holidays would be reduced from nine days to five days. In addition, the end of the year holidays in schools in Group A states (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu) would be reduced from 42 days to 14 days. The end of the year holidays in Group B states (Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya) would be reduced from 41 days to 13 days. The Education Ministry confirmed that the school year for 2020 will now total 168 days. [149] In response, former Education Minister Maszlee Malik criticised the Ministry for not consulting with teachers and teachers' unions including the National Union of the Teaching Profession and West Malaysia Malay Teachers Union prior to amending the school term. [150]

Essential supplies Edit

Before Malaysia announced the movement control order, supermarkets across the country began to see a surge in panic buying, and the supply of surgical masks everywhere was out, causing prices to skyrocket. In response, the Prime Minister of Malaysia assured people in a televised speech on 16 March that the supply of food, daily essentials and healthcare (including surgical masks), were sufficient nationwide, adding that the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs would be monitoring the food supply and the daily demand of markets during the control order. [5]

Travel and transportation Edit

Scores of Malaysians working in Singapore and foreigners rushed back to the immigration checkpoints in the hope to return to Singapore before the order became effective. Singapore-based public transport operators had arranged temporary accommodation at several hotels to accommodate the affected Malaysian Bus Captains. [151] [152] Scheduled bus services travelling between Singapore and Johor Bahru were suspended as well. [153] The announcement of the movement control order reportedly caused some anxiety among Singaporean residents over their food supplies, of which a significant portion came from Malaysia. Panic buying briefly returning in Singapore as Singaporeans rushed to supermarkets to stock basic necessities, [154] and Singapore's ministers and Prime Minister had to assure them that there would be enough supplies for the country, and that the flow of goods between the two countries would continue. [155] [156] [157]

Moments after the order was announced in Malaysia, With the announcement of the movement control, various diplomatic missions such as the United States and France have ceased issuing visas, while India prohibited Malaysian citizens from travelling to its country. [158] Thai residents headed out of Malaysia in large numbers while the large community of Indonesians in Malaysia also prepared for the situation as reported by their embassy. [159] [160] [161] Other diplomatic missions were closely monitoring the situation of the restrictive movement order and awaited further instructions both from their government and the Malaysian government. [162]

As the number of passengers decreased significantly during the movement control order and to reduce the risk of infection of passengers and employees, Malaysia's main bus operator, Rapid Bus readjusted the frequency of all its buses starting from 20 March where it also encouraged the people to plan their trips. Rapid Ferry also made adjustments by reducing to two ferries each day to operate starting from 20 March. Each shift was changed from the original 20 minutes to 30 minutes. After 10 PM, the frequency of the ferry service will be changed to 1 hour. As for the last ferry ride time, it will depend on the arrival time of the last bus in Penang Sentral. [163]

On 4 April 2020, all Express Rail Link rail services were to be suspended until the end of the control period due to significant reductions in passenger flow. [164]

On 16 April 2020, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob clarified that any form of mass movements and interstate travel would be prohibited during Ramadan as long as the Movement Control Order remains in force until 28 April. Many Muslim Malaysians visit their families and hometowns during the Ramadan period. [165]

Social gatherings Edit

On 5 November 2020, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced that Malaysians living in areas under both Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) restrictions would not be allowed to cross borders during the upcoming Deepavali holiday on 14 November. It is customary for people to travel home and visit families during the Deepavali holiday. [166]

On 18 December 2020, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Christmas gatherings on 25 December will be limited to 20 people at landed properties and 10 people at apartments and condominiums within areas under recovery and conditional movement control orders. Within areas under enhanced MCO, only household Christmas gatherings will be allowed. In addition, church masses will be allowed between 5pm and 9:30pm on 24 December for a maximum of two sessions. [167]

On 29 April 2021, the Higher Education Ministry permitted students from higher learning institutions to return to their families to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri from May 7 to 12. They will return to campus from May 15 to 20. They were only allowed to use their own vehicles, be picked up by their parents or guardians, travel by air, or board buses provided by their institutions. [168]

Dr Yusramizza Md Isa, Senior Law Lecturer at Universiti Utara Malaysia, noted that the government's actions in issuing the MCO are under the auspices of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988. Under Section 5 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, the Health Ministry is the main authority in charge. [169]

However, on 6 April 2020, Minister of Defence Ismail Sabri Yaakob reported that only the National Security Council (NSC) can issue directives during the MCO. [170]

Dr Yusramizza further noted that unless "disaster emergency" or "a security area" is declared by the Prime Minister based on Section 18 of the National Security Council Act 2016 and Article 25 of the Malaysia National Security Council Directive 20, the military is not empowered to arrest, seize and search. [169]

Kuala Lumpur lawyers Haeme Hashim and CK Lew from Messrs. Haeme Lew suggested that the government ought to declare a "disaster emergency" according to Article 25 of the Malaysia National Security Council Directive 20 and for the entirety of Malaysia to be declared as a "security area" under Section 18 of the National Security Council Act 2016, failing which the NSC and military do not have full power in administering this Movement Control Order. Only the police have full power and the military only works to assist the police in strengthening control over the order. [171]

Civil society organisation Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet) has stated that a special task force may be formed to assist health ministry, but not the NSC. A spokesperson for Madpet Charles Hector noted that the Malaysian government may have quietly and wrongly resorted to using the draconian National Security Council Act 2016 in the combat to curb and defeat the coronavirus threat as the NSC, under the NSC Act, seemed to be making decisions and issuing orders on coronavirus-related issues. Hector notes that the Ministry of Health's authority may be ousted by the NSC, and that the NSC may be wrongly taking overpower and control from the Ministry of Health, which is really the responsible Ministry under the Prevention And Control Of Infectious Diseases Act 1988. [172]


Today in History

Today is Friday, June 18, the 169th day of 2021. There are 196 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On June 18, 1812, the War of 1812 began as the United States Congress approved, and President James Madison signed, a declaration of war against Britain.

In 1778, American forces entered Philadelphia as the British withdrew during the Revolutionary War.

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte met defeat at Waterloo as British and Prussian troops defeated the French in Belgium.

In 1873, suffragist Susan B. Anthony was found guilty by a judge in Canandaigua, New York, of breaking the law by casting a vote in the 1872 presidential election. (The judge fined Anthony $100, but she never paid the penalty.)

In 1940, during World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill urged his countrymen to conduct themselves in a manner that would prompt future generations to say, “This was their finest hour.” Charles de Gaulle delivered a speech on the BBC in which he rallied his countrymen after the fall of France to Nazi Germany.

In 1953, a U.S. Air Force Douglas C-124 Globemaster II crashed near Tokyo, killing all 129 people on board. Egypt’s 148-year-old Muhammad Ali Dynasty came to an end with the overthrow of the monarchy and the proclamation of a republic.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson and Japanese Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda spoke to each other by telephone as they inaugurated the first trans-Pacific cable completed by AT&T between Japan and Hawaii.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter and Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev signed the SALT II strategic arms limitation treaty in Vienna.

In 1983, astronaut Sally K. Ride became America’s first woman in space as she and four colleagues blasted off aboard the space shuttle Challenger on a six-day mission.

In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Georgia v. McCollum, ruled that criminal defendants could not use race as a basis for excluding potential jurors from their trials.

In 2003, baseball Hall-of-Famer Larry Doby, who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947, died in Montclair, N.J., at age 79.

In 2010, death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner died in a barrage of bullets as Utah carried out its first firing squad execution in 14 years. (Gardner had been sentenced to death for fatally shooting attorney Michael Burdell during a failed escape attempt from a Salt Lake City courthouse.)

In 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he was directing the Pentagon to create the “Space Force” as an independent service branch. Troubled rapper-singer XXXTentacion (ex ex ex ten-ta-see-YAWN’) was shot and killed in Florida in what police called an apparent robbery attempt.

Ten years ago: President Hamid Karzai acknowledged that the U.S. and Afghan governments had held talks with Taliban emissaries in a bid to end the nation’s nearly 10-year war. Yelena Bonner, 88, a Russian rights activist and widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, died in Boston. Clarence Clemons, the saxophone player for the E Street Band who was one of the key influences in Bruce Springsteen’s life and music, died in Florida at age 69.

Five years ago: With California’s Yosemite Falls as a backdrop, President Barack Obama said climate change was already damaging America’s national parks, with rising temperatures causing Yosemite’s meadows to dry out and raising the prospect of a glacier preserve without its glaciers someday. During an appearance in Las Vegas, Donald Trump railed against efforts by some frustrated Republicans planning a last-ditch effort to try to thwart him from becoming the party’s nominee, and threatened to stop fundraising if Republicans didn’t rally around him.


Furious politicking over reconvening Parliament

DEMOCRACY has been betrayed.

Malaysia has been betrayed.

We – the rakyat – have all been betrayed.

I don’t think I have it in me to really articulate the pain, loss, and betrayal that so many of us are feeling about the possible new backdoor government. I’m sure others will do that better.

I do know however that the other emotions swirling in there is despair – alongside cynicism, defeatism, and anger.

These emotions are perfectly normal, and we need to give them the air and time they need.

Ultimately though, we may need to get to the point where we can say, as my sister often does: don’t get mad, get organised.

In order to face Malaysia’s biggest betrayal, we are going to need Malaysia’s best and brightest working together, not working against each other. And we’re going to need to really understand the new forces and strategies at play here.

The primary motivation of this betrayal is of course the greed and personal ambition of the individuals driving this move.

That said, this doesn’t mean that there is no political calculation and logic behind said move. If we are to face this, we need to understand that logic – especially in the light of possible snap polls.

So basically, the formula is Umno, PAS, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, East Malaysian parties, and other token representative parties versus mainly PKR, DAP, and Parti Amanah Negara.

To some observers, this may seem a little too monoethnic on one side. Is it?

I think this new coalition (let’s call it “Pakatan Nasional” or PN for now) has carefully thought through its electoral viability. So, what is their plan?

In recent decades, Barisan Nasional was extremely monoethnic. It remained strong in all the rural areas, while the Opposition reigned supreme in all the urban areas.

Due to gerrymandering, malapportionment, and delineation, this formula actually kept Barisan firmly in power. They had long ago lost their two-thirds majority, but still had a comfortable overall majority in Parliament – even with sacrificing almost every urban, non-Malay majority seat.

I think this is exactly the strategy that PN is looking to replicate.

This would make sense, because the only time Barisan failed to win using this formula was in the 14th General Election (GE14) in May, 2-18, when PAS split the Malay vote.

I’ve actually run the calculation before, and if you use the (admittedly overly) simplistic model of combining Barisan and PAS’ votes from GE14, that coalition would have easily beaten Pakatan Harapan, by winning 129 of the 222 seats in Parliament, and controlling eight states.

The PN campaign (in rural areas especially) will run on the very simple ideology of Malay unity. This will be especially effective after two years of what has been perceived as severe Malay disunity and the fragmentation of Malay political power.

Most importantly, this campaign will drive one of the biggest racial wedges we have ever seen in the fabric of Malaysian society. PN will make this almost entirely about a Malay versus non-Malay struggle, and tensions will be about as high as we have ever seen.

The main vulnerability of PN will be the balance of power between Umno, PAS, and Bersatu. Where once Umno decided everything, now we will see if this trio can survive beyond grabbing power.

The Opposition as is will have no trouble winning in most urban seats, if it is one-to-one fights. But the end result will likely be no better than the results in GE12 (2008) or GE13 (2013), and the old formulas will not do much to provide an alternative to the racial wedge.

The current PKR-led political coalition cannot replicate the results of GE14 quite simply because PAS is no longer there to split the rural vote, and there is no earthshattering new factor or issue that they can campaign on (in this atmosphere, many in those seats will not care about “backdoor government”). These factors are decisive.

If we want a different result from GE12 and GE13, there needs to be a huge change – something really different.

Politically, the answer is not likely to be an urban-based, English-speaking third force. Such a movement will have no influence or appeal in any seat that PKR/ DAP/ Amanah would already win on their own.

The new element required needs to have mass appeal. If it only appeals to certain segments, failure will be inevitable. This likely means that it needs a strong Malay, Muslim element.

While PN will likely campaign on an “us versus them” platform, the alternative needs to embrace an inclusive, unifying platform.

Where PN will campaign using toxic divisiveness and political mudslinging, the alternative needs to be a rejection of politicking, and a focus on a wholesome, solid vision for a healthier democracy.

Our only hope is to change the paradigm completely – to carry a message of hope, inclusivity, and genuine democratic empowerment.

Most importantly, there needs to be a strong and clear ideology, based on actual values of integrity, justice, transparency, and compassion.

There has to be a genuine commitment to a predetermined vision, not some fake manifesto that no one believed in and there needs to be a complete rethink of what democracy really means, if we don’t want to continue being stuck in a vicious cycle of politicking.

Without these crucial elements, any coalition will be as paper thin and directionless as Pakatan Harapan has been these last two years.

The old ways simply don’t work, just as the old formulas simply don’t work.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is a pretty decent man, but if he leads the same type of political coalition as he did in GE12 and GE13, the results will be the same. Indeed, with PAS now replaced with a “PAS Lite” that has no real grassroots support, the results will likely be even worse.

PKR, DAP, and Amanah will not stand any chance if they choose to believe that the old ways are good enough today, or that they already have everything they need to succeed.

It doesn’t make sense to arrogantly try to counsel against arrogance. No one person or group has all the answers, least of all me.

But I think it’s safe to say that what we need moving forward is a grand coalition – one that represents not only people we like or are comfortable with, but one that truly and proportionality reflects the full spectrum of Malaysian society.

That is the only way we can save Malaysia’s democracy from the jaws of certain death it now faces.


Malaysia Football News

Modern football was invented by the English in the mid 19th century. As the British was ruling Malaysia(then Malaya) that time, they introduced football to the locals here. It instantly became very famous with the locals.


The Selangor Amateur Football League was formed in 1905. This was the starting of proper administration and organization of football in the country. But the competition was confined only to clubs in the Kuala Lumpur area.

In 1921, a national tournament featuring all the states in Malaya was started. The competition was named as the Malaya Cup (later renamed the Malaysia Cup in 1963). It has been held continuously since then, except during the World War 2(1941-45) years.

In 1926, the Selangor Amateur Football League was fully established. In 1936 the Football Association of Selangor was formed and this association soon started to organize football tournaments in Selangor and this inspired other states to follow suit.

In 1920, the British battleship HMS Malaya visited the country. After engaging local opposition in football and rugby, the officers and men of HMS Malaya decided to commemorate the matches by presenting trophies for annual competitions in both rugby and football in Malaya.
In 1926, the Football Associations of Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and the Singapore Amateur Football Association, came together to form the Malayan Football Association (MFA), in order to field a Malayan team against an Australia side that visited Singapore that year.

In 1933, the MFA was revived to form the Football Association of Malaya (FAM). Initially, the FAM was based in Singapore. It was chiefly responsible for the running of the Malaya Cup competition. The annual tournament – played along inter-state lines – was a huge success.
The first president of FAM was Sir Andrew Caldecott followed by M.B. Shelley, Dr. J.S. Webster, S.D. Scott, R. Williamson and Adrian Clark, who served up until 1940 – before Europe went on a full-scale war with Germany . In 1940, control of the FAM moved from Singapore to Malaya, with A.R. Singham becoming the first Asian secretary in 1941.
The FAM's first president after the war was J. King, to be followed by H. Byson, and then Dr. C Rawson, who served for two years before vacating for the first ever non-British personality to take over the helm.

In 1951, Tunku Abdul Rahman (who was to become the first Prime Minister of Malaysia) became the FAM president. It was under Tunku Abdul Rahman that football in Malaysia entered its next phase, with the FAM taking a much bigger role than just being the backbone in the organisation of the Malaysia Cup.
The FAM was inducted as one of 14 founding members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in 1954, before becoming a full-fledged member of FIFA two years later.
Tunku Abdul Rahman's love for the game was the main catalyst which resulted in the construction of the Merdeka Stadium and in 1957 it became hallowed ground for all Malaysians when it was the venue chosen to announce Malaysia's independence from Britain.
It also signaled the birth of the Merdeka Tournament (Pestabola Merdeka), that was to all intents and purposes the centre piece of the independence celebrations.
The Merdeka Tournament proved to be a huge success, inspiring similar tournaments like the Jakarta Anniversary tournament, the King’s Cup in Thailand and President's Cup in South Korea. The inaugural tournament – then the premier football competition in Asia – was won by Hong Kong.
However, Malaya won the title three years in a row, in 1958 and in 1959, and sharing it with South Korea in 1960. The country qualified for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Following the change in name to the Football Association of Malaysia in the early 1960s, Tunku Abdul Rahman continued to play a big role in the development of the game through various youth competitions.
Following his departure in 1974, the reins of the FAM was taken over by Malaysia's second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, who served for just one year. The post was then filled by Tan Sri Datuk Seri Setia Raja Hamzah Haji Abu Samah in 1976, who was the Minister for Trade and Industry at the time.
Between 1976 and 1984, various football activities were introduced under Tan Sri Datuk Seri Raja Hamzah, and Malaysian football reached a new height in the international arena following his appointment as the AFC president.
The FAM entered a new era of modernization and professionalism when His Royal Highness the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah took over.
His Royal Highness was integral in the growth of football in the new era with the introduction of the semi-pro league in 1989 before the game went fully professional several years later.
Among the high points in Malaysian football under His Royal Highness was the successful hosting of the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, as well as the organization of the Premier League, which has been called the Malaysia League (M-League) since 2004.
During the glory days of Malaysian football in the 1970s and 80s, names like Mokhtar Dahari, Santokh Singh and Soh Chin Aun would strike fear in teams all over Asia.