Malay Mail recap: Pakatan Harapan’s second week in power

Jerry Choong
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrives for the monthly assembly of the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya May 21, 2018. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — The wheel keeps on turning as more developments took place into the second week of the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government.

So many things have happened, we thought it best to list them all down for you to keep track:

Day 8 (Friday May 18):

- The police team conducting searches at properties linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak have been reinforced with another team which specifically focuses on cases involving the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

- Council of Eminent Persons member Tun Daim Zainuddin revealed that the East Coast Rail Line project costs over RM66 billion.

- Najib was summoned to meet Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers on Tuesday (May 22) as part of 1MDB probe.

- The Communications and Multimedia Commission unblocked Sarawak Report and Medium since the 1MDB report has been made public.

- A group of tahfiz students from the Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah school where 23 pupils were killed in a fire last September broke their fast at Najib’s residence to “offer moral support and sympathy”.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks to Malay Mail during an interview inside his private residence in Kuala Lumpur May 19, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Day 9 (Saturday May 19):

- In an exclusive interview with the Malay Mail, Najib spoke up for the first time since losing GE14, where he chided Khairy Jamaluddin and other BN leaders for not speaking up earlier if they felt there were issues with his leadership within the coalition and government.

- During the same interview he urged voters to hold the new PH government accountable, claiming their promises were ‘in the realm of fantasy’. He also added he had been unfairly ‘demonised’ during the GE14 campaigning period.

- Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Commissioner Datuk Seri Amar Singh Ishar Singh urged Najib’s lawyer to provide more information on the claims that police officers who searched his client’s properties ate their chocolate and demanded more.

- In a continuation of the Malay Mail exclusive, Najib says the rule of law must be applied equally to everyone, including prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

- Incumbent Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority chairman Datuk Seri Bung Mokhtar Radin announced he will step down from his post by the end of the month.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak bersalaman dengan penyokong setia selepas merasmikan Mesyuarat Berkelompok Persidangan Agung Cawangan-Cawangan Umno Bahagian Pekan, 20 Mei 2018. — Foto Bernama

Day 10 (Sunday May 20):

- Former Special Branch deputy director Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador, who was relieved of duty after criticising the BN government’s handling of the 1MDB investigations, has been tipped to take over from the incumbent director Datuk Seri Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff.

- Speaking to supporters in his constituency of Pekan, Pahang, Najib claimed he lost due to unappreciative voters who believed the slander of his rivals against him.

- Former MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the party’s future is in critical condition, yet still unable to understand what went wrong.

- PH defacto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says investigations into Najib over the SRC International Sdn Bhd case will be conducted in a fair and independent manner.

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Sri Mohd Shukri Abdull (centre) arrives at Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur May 21, 2018. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

Day 11 (Monday May 21):

- Anwar reassures the Malay community that they do not have to worry about losing the benefits enjoyed under BN’s six-decade administration.

- Perak’s 10 new excos begin their first day of work at the State Secretariat in Ipoh.

- Selangor Sultan allows Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali to join federal Cabinet as long as he remains until a successor is found.

- Former Penang Chief Minister to file representation to Attorney-General’s Chambers for the corruption charges against him to be dropped.

- The Wall Street Journal reports that PH’s fresh investigation into 1MDB scandal has ‘energised‘ the United States’ Department of Justice to look for Low Taek Jho.

- Mohd Shukri Abdull clocked in as new MACC chief commissioner

- Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad blames Malaysia’s RM1 trillion debt on previous administration.

- Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari says state government will restructure its civil service to ensure effectiveness of its agencies’ services.

- Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said Anti-Fake News Bill to be repealed soon.

Mohamad Sabu inspects a ceremonial Guard of Honour on his first day at work as Defence Minister in Mindef, Kuala Lumpur May 22, 2018. ― Picture by FIrdaus Latif

Day 12 (Tuesday May 22):

- Dr Mahathir says non-performing Cabinet ministers will be dropped and replaced by other more qualified parliamentarians.

- Najib parts ways with legal team in surprise twist, ahead of MACC meeting.

- Azmin, the new Minister for Economic Affairs, aims to revive Malaysia’s economy and make it attractive again for investors.

- Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu clocks into first day of work, vows an internal probe into the ministry’s past scandals.

- Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail starts work as Deputy Prime Minister.

- Guan Eng takes office as new Finance Minister despite doubts over country’s budget.

- Mohd Shukri reveals in emotional press conference how he was threatened when probing into 1MDB case back in 2015.

- 1MDB task force set out to recover money and assets.

- Najib drops 1MDB defamation suit against former MCA president and Transport Minister Tun Ling Liong Sik.

- Red Shirt movement leader Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos arrested for brandishing a firearm in public space.

Dr Mahathir (centre) and members of the Cabinet pose for a group picture in Putrajaya on May 23, 2018. — Picture via Twitter/AzminAli

Day 13 (Wednesday May 23):

- Dr Mahathir chairs first Cabinet meeting. He also cuts its members’ salaries by 10 per cent.

- MACC raids Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim’s home and office. He later says he will soon resign from the post.

- Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg confirms Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown is still banned from entering the state.

- Dr Mahathir terminates several agencies including the Land Public Transport Commission and the Special Affairs Department as part of apparent austerity measures to rein in RM1 trillion debt.

- Dr Mahathir says some projects will be aborted or reconsidered as part of move to reduce RM1 trillion debt. However fuel prices will not be raised for the time being.

Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya May 22, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

Day 14 (Thursday May 24):

- Najib leaves Langgak Duta residence for second MACC interview in Putrajaya.

- DAP’s Tony Pua and Ong Kian Ming appointed as unpaid special officers to Guan Eng for next six months.

- Tabung Haji confirms Abdul Azeez no longer chairman. MACC likewise confirms it is probing the entity.

- Dr Mahathir to visit Japan next month for annual Nikkei Conference and to strengthen bilateral ties.

- Terengganu PH chairman Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad says PH is ready to work with PAS-led state government to rebuild the state.

- Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says federal government will honour payments for 1MDB debt due on May 30.

- Abang Johari thanks Anwar for assuring that PH will restore Sarawak’s rights the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

- Umno demands return of ‘party funds’ seized by cops in raid at Najib’s residence.

- Azmin Ali says new Selangor Mentri Besar to be known after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.