Courageous Muhyiddin ‘weathering the COVID-19’ storm

#Opinion

#COVID-19 Round-up

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister on March 1. After a big fiasco, challenge and dissatisfaction from Pakatan Harapan, the Yang Di Pertuan Agong appointed him as the prime minister.

Since the day, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed, many people labeled this Perikatan Nasional as a backdoor government.

Sidelining the critics, Muhyiddin continued his work as Prime Minister and later appointed his cabinet.

Unfortunately, his biggest acid test is to fight COVID-19. By the time they took over and settle down in power, it was almost too late to contain the outbreak in Malaysia. The whole world is dipped with COVID-19 situation.

Whether we like it or not, containing the COVID-19 situation, his administration had to introduce the Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18.

When writing this article, we are in phase 3 of MCO. Before that, he announced the economic stimulus package and did another announcement of additional economic stimulus package for SMEs, in any capacity, whether it is big or small assistance to the people of Malaysia.

Let’s not forget, we are fighting an invisible force and unprecedented level of turmoil, as it’s not easy to fit in his shoes as well.

Other big countries, like the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Italy, India are also equally crumpled.

Today morning, one of the sweetest news from the United States government came in as a rescue plan.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin revealed that Malaysia has received another US$300mil (RM1.3bil) of 1MDB funds, which makes it a total of US$620mil (RM2.38bil) returned to date.

Muhyiddin Yassin said this represents funds recovered from asset seizures related to 1MDB under the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

Muhyiddin also revealed that on Oct 30 last year, fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, had reached a settlement with the DoJ pertaining to the numerous forfeiture claims it filed against assets he had purchased using 1MDB monies.

In a swift note, Muhyiddin expressed his gratitude to the US government, particularly the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, on their excellent assistance and cooperation in facilitating the return of the 1MDB money.

He even commended the Finance Minister and the Attorney General for their role in the negotiation process.

Generally speaking, we have to applaud the previous Pakatan Harapan government for initiating the move as described by PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Moreover, we have to give a sincere thanks to Muhyiddin Yassin and team for all the efforts taken to recover back this money which will be very helpful during the COVID-19 crisis.

More or else, it is hoped the recovered money will be prudently used for economic purpose.

During a crisis, it is happier to see when two leaders meet together to discuss in reinforcing the country during COVID-19 crisis, sidelining political beliefs.

Former allies Muhyiddin Yassin and Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had a 45-minute meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Muhyiddin raised issues concerning the Covid-19 pandemic and proposed commencing the upcoming Parliamentary session on May 18, said Anwar.

Anwar further revealed that he will hold further discussions with his friends in Pakatan Harapan and the Opposition to state the views told to Muhyiddin.

Additionally, Anwar pointed out that the dissemination of the information must be transparent and the ability of screenings must be improved, as well as the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN), the government’s economic stimulus package to address the Covid-19, was well received.

Pragmatically to exercise gutsy politics, governance, it is equally amiable to see when two leaders meet together and discuss ‘weathering the storm’ and contingency plans to place Malaysia back on track.

Let’s hope more leaders from the different divisions of politics, will unite together to keep Malaysia spirit in hearts and minds, ensure greater sustainability thereafter.

Pix credit: Bernama pix