The Perak head-scratcher
It looks like the Perak menteri besar’s office will collect more dust. The silver state’s no closer to filling the leadership vacuum left following the ouster of Ahmad Faizal Azumu as MB last Friday.
Even the visit by BN and Umno head honcho Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to the state ruler at Istana Kinta yesterday morning to submit his side’s pick for MB failed to settle matters. (Ahmad Zahid was tightlipped about the MB candidate, although it’s likely this dude.)
The sultan even summoned Bersatu, PAS and Pakatan Harapan to hear their vote on things, but that turned up nothing: Ahmad “boot to the backside” Faizal had claimed Bersatu didn’t get any official g̶l̶a̶s̶s̶ ̶s̶l̶i̶p̶p̶e̶r̶ invitation from the palace while PAS simply didn’t show up! Imagine the reax from politicos if a party like DAP or MIC pulled a stunt like that.
All this has left the sultan scratching his head as to who actually commands majority support of the state legislative assembly.
Umno, meanwhile, has repeated its stance to support Perikatan Nasional, meaning any state government will be formed with Bersatu and PAS. How BN’ll swing that is anyone’s guess as Umno orchestrated the ousting of Bersatu’s own MB (awkward!) and PAS has so far refused to be part of any new gomen.
Despite overtures by Umno, Perak Bersatu, already bitten once, remains wary. Still, Bersatu may have little choice in the matter if their political future in the state’s to be considered. Can’t exactly go running back to Pakatan, can they, considering they backstabbed their former buddies in the first place?
BT Dubs, if there’s a DAP-Umno alliance, can we call it Dumno?
MPs on a mission
The unceremonious ousting of Ahmad Faizal has spurred opposition MPs in Parliament.
You see, Ahmad Faizal was booted out when he lost a confidence vote against him after the motion to vote was brought forward.
Inspired by Perak, Pakatan lawmakers had tried their luck to push for confidence votes against PM Moo to be brought forward as well.
Remember, Moo has two motions for votes of confidence and 25 for votes of no confidence hanging over his head at the lower house. He’d only need to lose one (since both votes of confidence and no confidence basically work the same way) to potentially lose his cushy Seri Perdana home.
There is just one snag in Pakatan’s grand plan, the fly in their ointment – Speaker Azhar “Art” Harun. Artie’s maintained that House rules dictate gomen business takes priority over other motions. Them are the rules.
The only way confidence/no-confidence motions will take priority is if any of MooMoo’s own cabinet members agree to bring em up. And, who’s gonna do that, really?
Indirectly, this would put added pressure to opposition leader and PKR bigwig Anwar Ibrahim to prove his claim to the PM throne. Not a good prospect considering the poor dude’s lost another bloc vote for a ministry’s budget yesterday (The score is now PN 17- PH bupkis if you’re keeping count).
Art’s reasoning didn’t fly with everyone. Perak DAP No. 2 Abdul Aziz Bari has called Art’s inaction disgraceful. The DAP man added that settling the matter in the Dewan would be cheaper, faster, and more democratic.
Anyway, some other stuff went down in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, and here they are in brief:
- Pakatan women MPs have slammed Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun over her unsatisfactory answers to several issues regarding her ministry, including its failure to table a Sexual Harassment Bill.
- Putrajaya is mulling setting up a committee to identify unregistered houses of worship and determine their status. This follows the recent demolition of a temple in Kedah which led to the childish war of words between the state’s MB and MIC.
- The gomen’s still considering a Royal Commission of Inquiry into misappropriation of funds in Tabung Haji.
Good news, bad news
Our Covid-19 figures remained in the four-figure realm yesterday with 1,012 new cases and 4 deaths. This brings the overall total to 75,306 cases to date and 388 fatalities.
The good news is there were 1,750 recoveries, pushing the number of active cases down to 10,862. Meanwhile, two new clusters were detected yesterday.
The conditional MCO (CMCO), as we all know, has been extended in KL and Sabah, and parts of Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perak and Penang (you can find the full list here). But if you’re confused over which rules have been relaxed in the CMCO areas, this guide’s pretty handy to avoid headaches and potential fines.
Sabah, meanwhile, has decided it’ll relax certain restrictions as well, in particular those affecting some economic activities and SOPs at mosques and suraus. Sadly, there’s no mention of other places of worship.
In other Covid news:
- Mass Covid-19 screenings have begun in EMCO areas in Penang, with hundreds being tested daily. The EMCO areas in Penang affect some 12,300 people.
- There’s been a massive jump in applications for the Employee Insurance Scheme, believed due to financial problems caused by the pandemic.
- The number of incest cases in Melaka, most of which involved underage girls, doubled during the MCO period compared to previous years. Sick. Just sick.
- Let’s end this segment with some inspiring news. We should all take heart from differently-abled Muhammad Sidek Osman, who’s forged ahead as a Grab rider despite his disabilities.
Despite facing all manner of hardship, including discrimination, Sidek has said he’s convinced he and other delivery peeps are frontliners who have important roles to play. No arguments here!
Bits of this and that
As usual, here are some other bits of news you should know:
- For the umpteenth time this year, water supply to Klang Valley residents was disrupted due to river pollution. Thankfully, this time the pollution, traced back to discharge from an illegal fish pond, won’t last as long with 50% of areas already having had their supply restored.
- The Federal Court has dismissed former police commando Azilah Hadri’s application to review his conviction and death sentence over the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.
- Sabah DCM Jeffrey Kitingan has said Sabah will push for a similar deal after Sarawak scored an agreement with Petronas allowing it a bigger role in the oil and gas industry.
- Felda is said to be planning to take FGV Holdings Bhd private, just eight years after its controversial initial public offering.
- A nurse has lodged a police report on alleged sexual assault involving a celebrity preacher, making it nine women to have come forward against the 25-year-old man to date.
- Black or white? Kids will be able to choose between black or white shoes in the coming school year. But socks will have match the colour of their shoes.
- One of Sabah’s oldest newspapers, the New Sabah Times, which traces its lineage to the Kinabalu Times which began in 1954, will shut down come Dec 20.
"No one should be allowed to stand for Parliament without proof that he has taken responsibility for other people."
- John Rhys-Davies -
IN INTERNATIONAL NEWS
- President-elect Joe Biden has introduced his key healthcare team, making an incredible promise of vaccinating 100 million people in his first 100 days. Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration has said the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective.
- Use of the vaccine has begun in the UK, with a 90-year-old grandmother the first to receive it outside of a trial. Also among the first was an 81-year-old man with the brilliant name of William Shakespeare.
- The World Economic Forum, usually held in Davos, Switzerland, will be held in Singapore next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- New Zealand PM Jacinta Ardern has apologised after a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the gunning down of 51 Muslim worshippers by a white supremacist last year found that security agencies failed to detect the threat because they focused exclusively on the perceived threat of Islamist terrorism.
- Retired US Air Force general Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, has passed away at the age of 97.