Pakatan’s one week in govt: What went down

Ida Lim


With PH now holding federal power, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his team charges on with many changes and many announcements in just seven days. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Cancelled flight. Travel ban. Resignations. New advisers. Police raids. Zero GST. And more.

That is just a brief rundown of what has taken place since Pakatan Harapan (PH) replaced Barisan Nasional (BN) as the federal government.

Yes, all that in just one week, although it feels like a month’s or one year's full of action.

To help you keep track with the frantic pace of changes, here’s Malay Mail’s summary of the one week since PH took over Putrajaya:

1. Day 0 (Thursday May 10): BN government no more

Hours after PH claimed victory and official GE14 results (just before 5am) verified it, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in at age 92 as the new prime minister in a 9.30pm ceremony.

2. Day 1 (Friday May 11): The work begins

- Dr Mahathir arrives at 9.35am for discussions with PH leaders on a new Cabinet

- Dr Mahathir: Agong says willing to grant Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a full pardon

- Dr Mahathir: There will be a probe on the Attorney-General, Election Commission, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. Certain heads must roll.

- Umno celebrates 72nd anniversary in sombre mood, news emerge of ex-PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor's planned flight to Indonesia

A May 9, 2018 photo shows former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor after voting. The duo were banned from flying out of Malaysia. — Reuters pic

3. Day 2 (Saturday May 12): Flight cancelled, resignation, Council of Elders, handbag stash condo

- Najib confirms short trip, but flight cancelled and later he and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor are put on travel blacklist. Police report lodged on alleged bid to hide Rosmah's handbags at a condominium

- Najib quits position as head of Umno, Barisan Nasional

- Dr Mahathir announces three ministers (home, defence, finance)

- Dr Mahathir announces five-person Council of Elders (later known as Council of Eminent Persons) to advise PH govt on finance, economy. Members include Tun Daim Zainuddin and Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz

- Dr Mahathir: Auditor-general's report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will be declassified

- Attorney-General position declared vacant, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali declines comment

- Police visits Najib-linked condominium with alleged handbag stash to view CCTV footage

Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin said the council that he chairs will be meeting daily for 100 days, and sometimes several times per day. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

4. Day 3 (Sunday May 13): Council begins work too

- Police sets up cordon around Najib's private home

- No honeymoon for Council of Eminent Persons with daily meetings. Meets six GLICs heads: Khazanah Nasional, PNB, KWAP, EPF, Tabung Haji, LTAT. (By May 18, Daim said Council has met 50 people in 40 meetings in six days)

5. Day 4 (Monday May 14): Spring-cleaning day, but keep documents safe

- MACC chief Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad resigns as MACC chief, to return to Attorney-General's Chambers

- Treasury's secretary-general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah relieved of duties; on contract till March 2019 but it will be cut short to June 14, 2018

- AG Apandi clocks in for work, but put on indefinite leave. Solicitor-General replaces his role.

- Dr Mahathir tells Finance Ministry to look for budget savings and spending cuts

- Dr Mahathir meets chief secretary to government, secretary-generals of all ministries

- Dr Mahathir: RCI on 1MDB after concrete charges, instructed all ministries not to bring out or destroy any documents

After slightly over two years, the Auditor-General’s audit report on 1MDB is no longer classified under the Official Secrets Act. — Reuters pic

6. Day 5 (Tuesday May 15) : 1MDB report no more a secret, institutional reforms coming

- Police escorts for Najib, former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi transferred out

- Apandi says on unrecorded 30-day leave

- Auditor-General declassifies audit report on 1MDB. (Read here and here to find out what was in the report classified in 2016)

- Swiss authorities seek quick talks with Malaysia on 1MDB

- Council of Eminent Persons forms Institutional Reforms Committee with members including former Malaysian Bar president Datuk Seri Ambiga Sreenevasan and former Court of Appeal judges, says economic reforms must come with institutional reforms

- Dr Mahathir says will stay on as PM for one to two years

PKR’s Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim waves to the crowd with his early release from imprisonment after receiving a full pardon, which will enable him to actively participate in politics. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

7. Day 6 (Wednesday May 16): Anwar is back, zero GST, stable fuel price, 17,000 political appointees to be axed , PH registered, Najib house raided

- Anwar is released ahead of initial June 8 date, says no timeframe to succeed as PM

- Council of Eminent Persons meets with Irwan on 1MDB, Dr Mahathir says Irwan will be investigated by the book

- Dr Mahathir: 1MDB-related wrongdoing larger than thought, ex-AG Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said about to prosecute over 1MDB when removed from post. Government will pay 1MDB-linked debts, recover 1MDB assets from other countries

- Dr Mahathir says 17,000 political appointees in government to be removed/ reviewed

- Finance ministry announces Goods and Services Tax (GST) at zero rate from June 1

- After seven weeks of no change in fuel price, Dr Mahathir says no more weekly new price. Government will subsidise fuel price when needed.

- Pakatan Harapan finally gets registered by Registrar of Societies

- Police raid Najib's private house. ( First night of raid unearths 52 luxury handbags, watches and over half a million ringgit in cash.)

See this flat line? It was RM2.20 for RON 95 petrol since the week of March 22-March 28, and is expected to continue so with the government to subsidise the cost if needed. — Malay Mail graphics

8. Day 7 (Thursday May 17): New 1MDB taskforce, SST will return, Najib-linked condos raided

- Raid at Najib's private house continues, police try to crack 20-year-old safe (Read here for what was discovered in the safe)

- Finance ministry: Sales and Services Tax (SST) will be back, government to cut spending

- Dr Mahathir takes on education minister role (but gives it up the next day), deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail gets Women and Family Development Ministry

- Not in government, but Anwar joins PH's presidential council to be top six

- Home Ministry's secretary-general: Dr Mahathir's party PPBM registered by RoS

- Council of Eminent Persons sets up committee to look into 1MDB. To be headed by former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman

- MACC gets former deputy Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull as new chief

- Police raid Najib-linked condominiums, seize 284 luxury handbags including Birkin bags and 72 suitcases of cash, watches and jewellery


Investigators lift sealed boxes believed to contain luxury designer bags into a Black Maria outside the Pavilion Residences condominium in Kuala Lumpur. May 18, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara