Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Annuar Musa now belakang pusing on Ramadan Bazaar

MM Online:

Now, FT minister says Ramadan bazaar status still up in air pending MOH, NSC’s advice

Crowds flock to the Ramadan bazaar in Kg Kanchong Darat to buy food for the breaking of fast, Banting in this file picture taken on May 22, 2019

Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 31 — A day after saying the Ramadan bazaars will go ahead in the Federal Territories, its minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa has said tonight that the status over the annual event has still not been decided.

In a series of tweets, Annuar clarified that the territories are still waiting for clear guidelines and advice from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Security Council (NSC).

“No decision until and unless we receive clear guideline and advice from MOH and NSC. Local authorities in the Federal Territories are required to brief me on current status and their plan.

“Please be patient,” Annuar said.

He made his remark in response to Parti Gerakan Malaysia’s Tan Keng Liang, who cited a news report on the decision.

“The three local authorities will brief me on Friday on proposed Ramadan bazaar. MOH and NC must be consulted before any decision is made. In the meantime, let’s cooperate to make enhanced movement control order and movement control order effective.

“Stay safe at home,” he added.

Annuar then said he has daily meetings with the Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, and that the bazaar had not been discussed.

Dr Noor Hisham has previously said that it is more important for the public to abide by social distancing and to keep their hygiene, if the bazaars were to go ahead.

Annuar then shared a story by another online news portal claiming the headline “Ramadan bazaars will continue in the Federal Territories this year, but on a smaller-scale to avoid congestion, in light of the Covid-19 crisis” was incorrect.

“This report doesn’t reflect what I have explained. I have made it very clear that no decision has been made yet. MOH and NSC must be consulted."

“It also depends on whether MCO is extended or not,”
he added.

She came from the Bottom of the Barrel

MM Online:

Women’s Development Dept says sorry after tips for women amid MCO slammed for sexism

On the subject of educating one’s spouse on doing household chores, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry advised wives to adopt a 'Doraemon-like' tone and giggle coyly as opposed to 'nagging'

Facebook screencap

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — The Women’s Development Department has apologised today for a series of posters advising women on how to behave amid the movement control order (MCO) over the Covid-19 outbreak.

The department under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry said it has spread positive daily tips and messages on social media with the theme #WanitaCegahCovid19 (women curbing Covid-19) to share information with the public.

“We are sorry if some of tips shared were inappropriate and touched on the sensitivities of some parties, and we will be more careful in the future,” its director-general Datuk Saidatu Akhma Hassan said in a statement.

The department also said that it is taking the approach to share methods and practices to sustain positive relationship within a family while women are working from home.

Women’s rights groups and members of the public have condemned the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and its minister Rina Mohd Harun over the awareness posters seen as politically incorrect.

The groups warned that the message conveyed through the posters titled “Kebahagiaan Rumahtangga” or “Household Happiness” could worsen gender stereotypes and to a certain extent encourage domestic violence.

As to be expected, the Minister herself buat diam diam and lets her ministry DG takes the heat.

Right from the very beginning in Pakatan Harapan days, I have not been impressed by this minister. T'was only Mahathir's greed and his unfortunate party paucity of having only 13 MPs that had allowed Rina Harun to be scrapped from the bottom of the PPBM barrel to become a minister - as they say, in the Kingdom of the Blind, the One-Eyed Woman becomes Queen, wakakaka.

But at least she flew only low-level in Pakatan, thus minimising any adverse image. Her current eff-up is MOST embarrassing. Really Moo-Moo, heads must roll for this grossly idiotic performance. 

But Muhyiddin has just perpetuated Mahathir's party greed for ministerial positions. If Moo-Moo doesn't want to have more trouble with the unimportant but rather sensitive Women Ministry, he should replace Rina Harun with someone more capable, perhaps UMNO's Azalina - can you think of anyone else? Maybe Moo-Moo can make Ms Sembooreet the new Minister of Women & Family? Wakakaka, then he/she can make all the Doraemon sounds. Gives me the creeps, mate.

MCO Manga Mafulat-ish Manja101

MM Online:

Ministry’s MCO advice to women: Wear make-up while working at home, speak to spouse in Doraemon voice and giggle coyly

On the subject of educating one’s spouse on doing household chores, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry advised wives to adopt a 'Doraemon-like' tone and giggle coyly as opposed to 'nagging'

Facebook screencap

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry has imparted some rather left-field advice to women, especially wives and mothers working from home, which it posted on its Facebook page yesterday.

In a poster directed at mothers working from home, the ministry seemingly stressed the importance of one’s appearance, advising work-at-home mothers to “groom as usual” and always look neat.

The ministry’s advice didn’t stop there.

In a subsequent poster on ways to educate one’s spouse on doing household chores, to presumably avoid quarrelling, wives are advised to adopt a “Doraemon-like” tone and giggle coyly as opposed to “nagging”.

The ministry also advised women to not be sarcastic towards their spouses who do not help with housework, saying that they sometimes need to be “informed” about such duties, and asked women to do so when they need a hand.

The public service announcements (PSAs), however, did not go down well with feminist groups, who took the ministry to task.

Taking to Twitter, lawyer-cum-activist Honey Tan criticised newly-minted Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun over the PSAs, questioning the latter’s priorities.

now without 'Atuk's bumi-dignity umbrella she is even more useless

“Avoid wearing home clothes. Dress up as usual, put on make-up and dress neatly. OMG! This is what Rina, our Minister of Women, Family & Community Development thinks is important during the #COVID19 lockdown? No tips on how to deal with #DomesticViolence? Just state DV is a crime,” Tan who is also a member in Feminist movement, Empower, wrote.

Similarly, the All Women’s Action Society (Awam) also frowned upon the idea, which it said is an objectification of women.

“Women have more than enough to do during the #MCO/#RMO without the added pressure of putting on make-up and looking good. Women are human too — not an object or a commodity.

“While dressing up to work is one way of maintaining discipline and a routine while working from home, the focus on LOOKS, DRESS, and MAKEUP is absolutely unnecessary.

The ministry also advised women to not be sarcastic towards their spouses

Facebook screencap

“Stop this sexist messaging @KPWKM and focus on #domesticviolence survivors who are at higher risk now!” Awam tweeted.

Setiawangsa MP Niz Nazmi Nik Ahmad also expressed his astonishment at the PSAs, adding that he was confused over the suggestion to adopt the Doraemon-tone.

“The priorities of the Women Ministry during #COVID19Malaysia is to tell woves to use Doraemon’s tone? (what on earth is that?)” he tweeted.

The ministry’s PSA digital posters were uploaded onto its Facebook and Instagram pages.

Ghost? enhances MCO

MM Online:

Man dresses up as a ghost in Terengganu to frighten young neighbours into staying at home during Covid-19 lockdown

A Terengganu man tried to scare his young neighbours into staying at home during the movement control order period

Photo via Facebook/ Muhd Urabil Alias

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 -- Frustrated that many were still ignoring the movement control order (MCO), a Terengganu man decided to post photos of himself dressed up as a ghost on social media.

Muhammad Urabil Alias posted the photos of himself standing on top of a van in an attempt to scare youngsters at Taman Anika Jaya, Kampung Tempurung in Chukai for their refusal to adhere to the MCO that was in place because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Despite the order, there were still many who came out at night so I decided to post the photos on Facebook,” the 38-year-old told Malay daily Harian Metro.

Urabil added that his stunt actually worked as the number of people who came out at night had reduced after he posted the pictures, which were taken by his wife Norhayati Nayan.

The post has since been shared 3,500 times and received 1,000 reactions.

Urabil said the authorities had been patrolling his housing area since the enforcement of MCO but there were still some who remained stubborn.

“After I uploaded the photos on FB, they panicked and were scared to come out,” he said.

Urabil added that after he uploaded the pictures, he received many messages from internet users to ask about the photos’ authenticity.

“From my status itself you can see I was not serious but they still think the photos are real.”

“My wife and I apologise if we have gone overboard.”


kaytee notes:

With today's media resources (FB, twitter, etc) it's okay and humorous but in my kiddie days, it coudl be dangerous.

As a young man (1st time in KL working) I was living in a hostel when one night some of my seniors decided to frighten me with a ghostly prank.

I was woken up at around 3 am, when on opening the door of my room I was confronted by a long-haired "pontianak" figure dress in white (bedsheet) in a demonic threatening pose, with clawed hands raised to "attack" me.

Unfortunately for Mr "Pontianak" I had pre-positioned a hockey stick next to my door for defence a la 'kampong kid in new big town prepared for unforeseen eventualities', wakakaka.

Well you know how it went - he had a painful experience as I in my slowly-waking-up-from-sleep-stupor hit him on the shoulder. He yelled out "Stop kaytee, it's me!" though it took me a few seconds to realise who he was, wakakaka.

But I suppose it's safe to conduct such pranks via FB and twitter, etc.

Toad in PPE


PKR Youth chief censures Zuraida over sanitation 'publicity stunt'

just to make sure people know, the forehead area of her PPE is labelled 'MENTERI' 

PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasir has lambasted Zuraida Kamaruddin for a "publicity stunt" during a sanitation exercise in several areas yesterday.

The the housing and local government minister had joined the authorities in the operation in Kajang and Petaling Jaya.

The former PKR vice-president was seen clad in a white Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suit.

"Now is not the time for ministers to find publicity."

"Please don't waste resources in a time where we have insufficient PPE."

"Some workers have to wear a plastic garbage bag while carrying out their duties to protect the states."

"The workforce who can be deployed for other tasks have to (instead) accompany the minister to do a gimmick," Akmal said in a statement to Malaysiakini.

He said the minister has to be more concerned and sympathise with the plight of the people during the movement control order.

Malaysiakini has contacted Zuraida via her political secretary for a response.

Yesterday, a major sanitation exercise was carried out in stages in six areas identified as Covid-19 red zones.

They include the Petaling district, Lembah Pantai, Hulu Langat, Seremban, Johor Bharu, and Kluang.

The operation involved the Fire and Rescue Department, police force, municipal councils, as well as the Health Ministry.

The Tabligh Connection

MM Online (relevant extracts only):

Covid-19: Kuantan, Muar, Kulai now orange zones, Hulu Langat in Selangor is nation's top red zone

Police officers conducting checks at a roadblock during the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in seven villages in Hulu Langat, March 30, 2020

Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Malaysia is still at 15 red zones, the last figure recorded on March 26, with Selangor and Kuala Lumpur still among the worst-affected areas with Johor also having fairly high numbers.

Significantly, the Hulu Langat district in Selangor has emerged as the red zone in Malaysia with the highest number of recorded Covid-19 cases at 258 cases, surpassing even the Petaling and Lembah Pantai districts.

This appears to be the first time that the Hulu Langat has emerged as the top red zone since the Health Ministry started releasing figures by district over the last few days.

As of March 30 noon, the number of cases in the 15 red zones are: Hulu Langat (258), Lembah Pantai (226), Petaling (224), Seremban (118), Johor Bahru (108), Kluang (106), Kuching (81), Kota Bahru (79), Kinta (76), Kepong (75), Klang (70), Titiwangsa (64), Tawau (60), Gombak (59), and Hilir Perak (56).

Altogether these 15 red zones alone account for 1,660 cases.

In other words, 63 per cent of all the 2,626 Covid cases detected in Malaysia as of March 30 have been recorded in just these 15 red zones. [...]

So far the government has issued three enhanced movement control of orders (EMCO) on two villages in Simpang Renggam in the red zone of Kluang in Johor, seven villages in the red zone of Hulu Langat, and a condominium building in Kuala Lumpur.

Only one person per car?


One Person Per Car – One Of The Silliest Rules Hatched By The Clueless Muhyiddin Backdoor Government.

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah
Director-General Ministry of health

The war against the Coronavirus is left entirely to Health Director-General Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, which is a good thing because in comparison to Health Minister Adham Baba, this Dr. Noor certainly looks like a genius. He talks about facts and figures and knows what he was talking about, unlike politicians who tried to look smart but ended up making a fool of themselves.

Health Minister Claims Warm Water Can Kill Coronavirus Because It "Doesn't Like Heat" 

Minister of Health?

It also gives an impression that the country is being run by Dr. Noor, while the Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin went shopping – pretending to check whether supermarket was well stocked. He should visit stores like 99 Speedmart and not some luxury supermarket that sells overpriced products. Even some Aeon supermarkets were short of essential supplies like eggs, bread and canned food (sardines).

Including the prime minister, the bloated 70 ministries appear to be on holiday during the present lockdown. The country is essentially on autopilot while waiting for the Covid-19 to clear. But to create an impression that the backdoor government is not incompetent, they keep blowing their own trumpet about the number of arrests of those who flouted the movement control order (MCO).

While it’s good to punish the stubborn MCO defaulters just to send the message across, so far there isn’t any concrete proof to link those naughty people to an increase of Coronavirus cases or deaths as a result of the pathogen. What we hear instead is more cases of Covid-19 linked to the Tabligh cluster, which is spreading via its fourth or fifth generation.

Seven villages in Hulu Langat have been put under an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) from Monday (March 30) over 71 positive cases identified among 274 residents of a tahfiz madrassah school. Involving 3,918 residents and comprising 700 households, the enhanced lockdown affects five Malays-majority villages, and two Orang Asli (indigenous people) villages.

Menara City One building, located near Jalan Masjid India in Kuala Lumpur, has similarly been ordered to be locked down for 2 weeks after 17 Coronavirus cases reportedly originated from the condominium. Interestingly, most of the 3,200 residents were not locals but foreigners from Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh – suggesting some could have had attended the Tabligh religious gathering.

Call it whatever you like, but an enhanced movement control order is another nice word for an “emergency”. And you can bet your last dollar that there will be more villages or high-rise buildings to be slapped with a complete lockdown, where residents are not allowed to go out at all. In fact, the government has started to take away more freedom under the pretext of breaking the chain of infection.

The state of Selangor will increase the number of road closures in several areas in stages to so-called reduce crowd movement. That is as good as an admission that things have gotten worse and the authorities are quietly preparing for an emergency or an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) or whatever you like to call. They don’t have to do that if the outbreak is under control.

As the Phase-2 of the MCO is about to kick in on April 1, the incompetent backdoor government of Muhyiddin seems to be getting more desperate. Their incompetency has caught the attention of former deputy Health director-general Prof Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman, who said he was perplexed to see a disinfection operation involving spraying onto road surfaces.

He said the authorities should instead disinfect frequent touch-points, such as doorknobs and lift buttons – “What are they doing? Who is advising them? It is truly a waste of money. How are the roads and road curbs being contaminated? Even if road surfaces are contaminated, how could they get to your face? By people scrubbing their hands on the contaminated road surfaces and touching their faces?”

But one of the silliest rules that has gotten social media excited is the “one person per car”, to be enforced from April 1 onwards. Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced – “As we have previously mentioned, for private vehicles, although they are allowed to go out to get food and essential supplies, the government has decided it would be one person in one car.”

The new rule will be on top of the shortened operation hours from 8am to 8pm daily for eateries, markets, petrol stations and even food delivery services that comes into effect on April 1. Taxis and e-hailing services can operate non-stop from 6am to 10pm while the operating hours for public transportation will remain 6am-10am and 5pm-10pm.

It didn’t cross the mind of Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is also the country’s defense minister that he himself is being ferried around by his own driver. So what happen if the husband needs to drive his wife, who does not drive, to the train station to work? If the goal was to prevent the couple from infecting each other, don’t bother because they have been in the same bed for as long as one can remember.

It doesn’t make sense that a private vehicle cannot have more than one person, even from the same family members, because at the same time the same genius minister allows taxis and e-hailing services to operate. Will not there be minimum two persons in a taxi or a Grab car when you flag down one? Or is Muhyiddin government hallucinating that “driverless” cars are on the road already?

Obviously Senior Minister Ismail Sabri has lost touch with the common people. He probably thought people who flouted the MCO were the same people who wanted to do their grocery shopping as quickly as possible and returned home safely to avoid getting infected. He thought after most shops were closed in compliance of the lockdown, the shopping mall was still as entertaining as before.

Get real, the long queue of getting screened for temperature by supermarket personnel has made shopping a nightmare. The last thing the supermarket, or the incompetent Muhyiddin government for that matter, wants is for a clueless husband to start hunting for tampons or searching Google to ensure he was buying the correct fish as ordered by his wife.

It would create more traffic on the road to send a husband to do a wife’s job as the poor man would be made to go back to the supermarket because he had bought the wrong sauce. Ministers with the privileges of police escorts like Ismail Sabri and PM Muhyiddin Yassin did not have to suffer the inconvenience of finding a parking to buy necessities, or to send meals for aged parents living in congested housing estates.

Does the turtle egg minister expect a husband and wife to drive separate cars, even if the couple work together in the same company or building? Perhaps they should borrow a motorcycle or a bicycle so that both can ride together. Sure, the objective is to reduce human contacts, but the “one person per car” rule is overkill, so much so it becomes incredibly ridiculous.

If Muhyiddin government is so obsessed with lockdown or enhanced movement control order that it can no longer think rationally or logically, perhaps it should just declare an emergency nationwide and deploy the army and police to send daily essentials – free – to the 32-million populations. Then it would have no excuse to blame “two persons per car” as a contributor to Coronavirus cases.

There are two India's


Watch: India migrants sprayed with disinfectant, triggering outrage

A municipal worker sprays disinfectant on migrant workers before they board a bus to return to their villages, during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lucknow, India, March 30, 2020

REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

NEW DELHI: Indian health workers caused outrage on Monday by spraying a group of migrants with disinfectant, amid fears that a large scale movement of people from cities to the countryside risked spreading the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Footage showed a group of migrant workers sitting on a street in Bareilly, a district in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, as health officials in protective suits used hose pipes to douse them in disinfectant, prompting anger on social media.

Nitish Kumar, the top government official in the district, said health workers had been ordered to disinfect buses being used by the local authorities but in their zeal had also turned their hoses on migrant workers.

“I have asked for action to be taken against those responsible for this,” he said in a tweet.

India imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25, with thousands of labourers subsequently fleeing cities for their home villages after work - and public transport - vanished.

India has registered more than a thousand cases of the coronavirus, of whom 29 have died, the Health Ministry said on Monday. Health officials say India is weeks away from a surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. - REUTERS

FB of Rana Ayyub:

There are two India's. One for the privileged and one for the poor. Look at this vulgar display of structural bias. Disinfectant sprayed on migrant labourers as if they are some variety of pests. Was this disinfectant sprayed on passengers who were airlifted from various countries ? Is this our bloody fucking morality?

American "Flat Earth"


Florida pastor arrested for ignoring quarantine, holding services

Howard-Browne is a staunch supporter of US President Donald Trump

(AP pic)

MIAMI: An evangelical pastor in Florida was arrested Monday for “repeatedly” ignoring confinement orders intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus by holding services with hundreds of people, police said.

Pastor Ronald Howard-Browne, 58, was arrested for unlawful assembly and violating quarantine orders while holding two services on Sunday in the eastern Florida city of Tampa, prison records show.

The pastor “intentionally and repeatedly disregarded state and local public health orders, which put his congregation and our community in danger”, tweeted Hillsborough County sheriff Chad Chronister.

Howard-Browne, a staunch supporter of US President Donald Trump, does not believe the Covid-19 disease is serious and accused the press of “stirring up religious bigotry and hate”.

He considers his church, The River at Tampa Bay Church, to be an essential service that must remain open during the pandemic.

Following an arrest warrant, Howard-Browne turned himself in and was released less than an hour later on US$500 bail.

As of Monday, Florida has 5,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 63 dead.

Penang - "Leading we serve"


How Penang has stayed one step ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic

Penang has stayed on top of things, even when a second wave of Covid-19 infections struck, by laying out a strategic plan to contain the spread of the virus


By Mohamed Basyir
March 30, 2020 @ 5:53pm

GEORGE TOWN: Penang has stayed on top of things, even when a second wave of Covid-19 infections struck, by laying out a strategic plan to contain the spread of the virus.

Even before the federal government announced Movement Control Order (MCO), Penang had already launched the "Penang Lawan Covid-19" campaign; while a state level task force was being set up to coordinate efforts between departments.

“The plan was to contain, be transparent and inform, and also mitigate," Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow told The New Straits Times.

“With five new cases confirmed in Penang on March 13, the state government moved quickly to cancel all state-organised public events."

Both the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) set up their own task forces and deployed 4,700 workers to the ground for cleaning and disinfection works.

Once the MCO was launched, they worked together with other government agencies to enforce regulations.

With the safety of frontliners made a priority, the state government ensured the public that the hospitals in the state are equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE), beds, gloves and sanitisers.

The RM10 million given to the state by the federal government has been channelled to equip frontliners with necessary tools and items.

Penang also took the initiative to be transparent on cases reported in the state, with Chow himself addressing the people live through social media daily.

Penang opted for Facebook and Telegram, while also having a dedicated website, to update the public on statistics and information pertaining to the virus, with a clear presentation method using charts and graphs.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow


About 150 billboards were erected and posters distributed all over the state to provide public awareness messages.

Through the Penang Lawan Covid-19 campaign, several videos were produced in four main languages – Bahasa Melayu, English, Hokkien and Tamil – to educate the public.

“We believe Penang is the first and only state with a dedicated platform to inform the people about the novel virus."

“Only with facts and information can Penang fight the pandemic effectively," he added.

Penang also anticipated the economic hit from the worsening pandemic.

Chow recently announced the RM75 million Covid-19 economic stimulus package, which will benefit 410,000 recipients.

The stimulus package, which targets the poor and most vulnerable communities, covers hawkers, small business owners, taxi drivers, e-hailing drivers, and the B40 group.

Amongst the initiatives is one-off RM500 aid to small traders and licensed hawkers, benefiting 14,012 people; two-month rent exemptions to housing scheme and People's Housing Projects (PPR) under state government for 1,816 units; and one month exemption for business premises rented under the local government and state government.

The Penang Covid-19 Fund was also launched to allow the private sector rebuild Penang’s economy and society, with Chow and other executive councillors agreeing to take a one-month pay cut, which will go towards the fund.

“The state has also initiated a food distribution programme to ensure no one will go hungry in Penang."

“The state government and law enforcement authorities will ensure that the supply of food will not be cut off, and again, I emphasise that we seek the cooperation of all Penangites to ensure this victory," said Chow.

Mid-way into the 28-day MCO, Penang recorded 87 cases of Covid-19 as of yesterday, with 46 successfully treated and discharged, and also one death.

ECRL corruption allegation


MACC confirms receiving report on revived ECRL project


The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has received a report on alleged abuse of power linked to the relaunched East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.

When contacted, MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki confirmed the matter, although he denied a news report which quoted him as confirming an ongoing investigation against a senior politician closely linked to former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"I just confirmed that the MACC received a report on the ECRL issue.

"But I never mentioned any person," he told Malaysiakini, adding that their identities could not be revealed as MACC has yet to start its investigations.

Azam (below) also said MACC would be scrutinising the report on the ECRL before a decision is made on whether to pursue further investigations.

Malaysiakini understands that the MACC report was lodged by NGO leader Ab Jalil Backer over alleged abuse of power in the Pakatan Harapan government's decision to revive the suspended billion-dollar project.

The ECRL project cost was slashed to RM44 billion, RM21.5 billion cheaper than its reported original cost of RM65.5 billion as first agreed in October 2016 under former premier Najib Abdul Razak's BN administration.

The previous Harapan administration had moved to suspend construction of mega projects including the ECRL, pending renegotiations to lower down its cost.

On April 12, 2019, in Beijing, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) signed a supplementary agreement that resumes the suspended ECRL project, at a lower price.

The revived project was relaunched by then transport minister Anthony Loke last July, almost a year after it was put on hold.

In February, Loke reportedly said the project is expected to be fully completed by mid-2026 and operational by early 2027.

The new ECRL alignment is now shortened by 40km from 688km to 648km - from Kota Bahru in Kelantan and runs south through Mentakab, Jelebu, Kuala Kelawang, Bangi, Kajang, Putrajaya, and terminating at Port Klang.

Graft complaint against Daim


MACC receives G
raft complaint against Daim, says report

MACC chief commissioner Azam Bakri was quoted as having confirmed receiving a report in connection with the ECRL project 

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has confirmed receiving a complaint regarding abuse of power in connection with the East Coast Rail Link project, Bernama reported.

The Harian Metro daily had earlier said the complaint was against former government adviser Daim Zainuddin, chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons in the Pakatan Harapan administration.

Bernama quoted MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki as saying that MACC would study the complaint before carrying out further investigations. He did not disclose the involvement of any individual, the report said.

“I confirm that MACC did receive a complaint regarding the ECRL for investigation. However, we will study the complaint first.

“We cannot reveal the parties named in the complaint in this case because we have not started our investigations,” he told Bernama TV today.

A source told Bernama TV that the complainant had asked that MACC investigate the inflated cost of the ECRL project, which it said should be RM30 billion instead of RM44 billion.

The source, in referring to a media report, said the ECRL project, which was cancelled in January 2019, got back on track in April that year after the government was convinced to resume the project with China Communication Construction Company Ltd at a cost of RM44 billion through the ECRL New Plan Package.

The source claimed that the new plan should only cost RM30 billion since certain things were reduced, among them the cancellation of five stations along the Gombak-Klang route.

“This means the new ECRL plan is RM14 billion costlier despite the reduction of some things,” he said.

The ECRL project resumed after an additional agreement was signed by Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and CCCC on April 12, 2019, which saw the project cost reduced by RM21.5 billion from the original cost of RM65.5 billion and the new alignment shortened by 40km from 688km to 648km.

The new alignment will be Kota Baru-Mentakab-Jelebu-Kuala Kelawang- Bangi/Kajang-Putrajaya and to Port Klang. The original ECRL project connected Port Klang in Selangor to Pengkalan Kubor in Kelantan.

Daim, a staunch ally of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was tasked by the previous administration to renegotiate the ECRL project with China, leading to the project’s cost being lowered from RM65.5 billion to RM44 billion following several changes to the initial plan.