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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Malaysia deploys riot police as MPs try march to parliament

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Monday’s session was cancelled over COVID infections with the delicate authorities beneath strain over its dealing with of the pandemic.

Opposition members of Malaysia’s parliament have been met by riot police and threatened with arrest as they tried to march to the parliament constructing on Monday amid rising political pressure over the federal government’s dealing with of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parliament started a “special session” final week after a months-long shutdown that was triggered by a declaration of emergency in January due to COVID, with opposition politicians lambasting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cupboard over the persevering with rise in instances and deaths regardless of months of an more and more strict lockdown.

The session was purported to proceed into Monday however was cancelled after a lot of COVID-19 instances have been confirmed in Parliament.

Dozens of MPs as a substitute gathered in Merdeka Sq. within the coronary heart of Kuala Lumpur, together with opposition chief Anwar Ibrahim and former two-time Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, calling on Muhyuddin to resign. They deliberate to stroll to Parliament two kilometres (1.2 miles) away.

“Thousands have died but he is happy to stay,” Mahathir was quoted as saying by on-line newspaper Malaysiakini. Anwar mentioned that Muhyiddin had misplaced his legitimacy.

Muhyiddin has been beneath intensifying strain since coming to energy in March 2020 after an influence seize led to the collapse of the federal government that was voted into energy in a historic Might 2018 election. Muhyiddin was appointed prime minister after convincing the king he had the required assist in Parliament to manipulate however has confronted common calls to show his majority.

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Anger has grown in latest months because the COVID-19 loss of life toll continued to rise regardless of a chronic lockdown that has left many individuals struggling. The nation’s whole caseload rose above a million final month and an additional 160 deaths have been reported on Sunday.

Opposition politicians have been met by a wall of riot police blocking the street to Parliament in Kuala Lumpur [Arif Kartono/AFP]

“We are seeing heightened opposition to Muhyiddin’s administration from students, activist(s), contract doctors and ordinary Malaysians. And we are witnessing the govt using the police as its tool to curb legitimate dissent,” Charles Santiago, an opposition MP from the hard-hit Klang space, wrote on Twitter. “But these protests won’t stop because the people have had it and their patience has run out. It’s embarrassing to hold on to power despite having been caught out and especially when good governance is needed to mitigate the consequences of a raging pandemic.”

On Saturday, a couple of hundred individuals marched in Kuala Lumpur in a socially distanced “Lawan” (struggle) rally whereas junior medical doctors walked off the job over pay and circumstances every week in the past. Each incidents are being investigated by police.

The parliament session was cancelled after mass testing following the invention of two optimistic instances discovered 11 instances of COVID-19 among the many greater than 1,000 politicians and workers who work there.


Opposition politicians identified that many factories and places of work in Malaysia have been persevering with to function regardless of the nation’s excessive stage of instances and famous that the positivity charge in Parliament was beneath the 5 p.c restrict set by the World Well being Group.

Politicians have been additionally among the many first in Malaysia to get vaccinated. Simply over 20 p.c of Malaysian residents now have each jabs and the federal government is accelerating the programme.

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