Good morning, here’s a quick rundown of what happened over the weekend.
- Underworld attention
- Agong and vaccine
- Racial segregation
Underworld figures and activities tend to fly under the radar but some have recently made waves on social media. The latest was an illegal online casino promoting itself through a Hari Raya commercial, sparking outrage.
Actors in the online commercial, who were paid RM180 each, were arrested. Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said they shouldn’t make excuses for their participation.
In a separate case, the employer whose illegal gambling and money lending activities were discovered after he beat up his bodyguards for fasting during Ramadan and apologised to Muslims for his actions.
Police are now taking steps to seize his illegally acquired assets.
Meanwhile, a dossier on police officers purportedly involved with the underworld was circulated on the internet. Police arrested an ex-cop for spreading the document.
This was amid claims some police officers assisted underworld figure Nicky Liow to escape arrest.
Liow’s neighbours complained they became collateral damage as police hunting for Liow broke into several units at a Puchong condominium but only five were linked to him. Cops maintained they followed their SOP.
Agong and vaccines
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba refuted a report claiming that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was gifted with the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the use of his family and friends.
He said the claim was baseless and pointed out the Sinopharm vaccine had yet to be approved in Malaysia.
To date, only the Pfizer-Biontech, Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines have been approved. The first two are already in use while the third is expected to arrive in June.
Last December, the Agong visited the UAE, where the emirates expressed their intention to donate 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine from China’s Sinopharm.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had said there was nothing “black and white” over the planned donation.
The principal of SMK Dato’ Bentara Luar sparked outrage after he instituted a racial and gender segregation policy.
Football and sepak takraw were limited to Malay boys, netball for Malay girls and basketball and ping pong were for Chinese boys and girls.
Deputy Education Minister Mah Hang Soon ordered the policy to be reversed and at least two ministers also criticised the move.
Meanwhile, parents are urging the government to close schools as Covid-19 cases rise again.
At least 186 schools have reported Covid-19 cases since March.
A daily glance at Covid-19
- 2,195 new cases yesterday (April 18), the fourth consecutive day where cases were above 2,000.
- Sarawak was the state with the highest number of new Covid-19 cases in five out of the last seven days.
- Kelantan recorded 332 new Covid-19 cases, a record high for the state since the start of the pandemic. Johor’s 387 new cases were also the highest since March 5.
- For trends on daily cases, tests, hospital beds capacity, vaccination progress and more, follow our Covid-19 tracker.
What else is happening?
- Gerakan, now under PN, revealed that it will be contesting more seats than it did under BN, setting the table for a possible clash with MCA. In BN, Gerakan and MCA traditionally shared Chinese seats. Meanwhile, MCA said it was too early to discuss BN’s seat negotiations.
- The National Union of Bank Employees urged Bank Negara Malaysia to ensure workers are protected amid Citigroup Inc’s plan to exit its retail banking business in Malaysia.
- Six Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) players tested positive for Covid-19.
- The Malaysian Bar initiated legal action against the government to nullify a number of emergency ordinances, including powers on “fake news” and spending without Parliament oversight.
- The Transport Ministry said there was a pressing need to regulate the parcel-hailing industry (p-hailing) amid complaints from riders about their welfare.
What are people saying?