KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 – Malaysians woke up to a spate of bad news after ushering in the new year – from bad weather in many parts of the country, a ferry tragedy in Batang Lupar River in Sarawak that left nine dead, a helicopter crash in West Port, Klang that injured two, and a capsized boat in Pulau Perhentian in Terengganu.
A pickup truck laden with passengers is reported to have fallen into the Batang Lupar River off a ferry. Early reports stated that nine bodies have so far been recovered and many of the dead are believed to be family members.
The helicopter crash comes less than two months after two helicopters from the same company collided in mid-air in Taman Melawati that left two dead. One of the helicopters crashed while another managed to land at a nearby school field.
The boat incident in Terengganu left five passengers missing. Four were later rescued while one remains missing according to the latest reports.
However, it is the news, hours into the new year, that reported the termination of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) that jolted the people although the writing was on the wall and was not a surprise to those who knew what was happening to the much-acclaimed project.
The termination came just hours after the HSR Agreement lapsed on Dec 31, 2020. The bilateral agreement for the project was signed in December 2016. The termination is expected to cost Malaysia nothing less than RM300 million in compensation.
Malaysia ad previously compensated Singapore RM45 million when the HSR project was suspended for two years to May 31, 2020, under the Pakatan Harapan government.
In his new year message, hours earlier, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin outlined five priorities with the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines and implementation of a nationwide vaccination program topping the list.
Muhyiddin also urged leaders to ensure political stability, governance, and administration as it is the ”foundation of economic recovery” as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country.
However, Muhyiddin should arrest the ‘cartel’ of dirty politicians and their cronies first to stop racial politics that has hit a new high in Malaysia.
The cartel is playing a very perilous game, and it has plunged Malaysia to a new low internationally – something which Malaysia can ill afford as it is a multi-racial and multi-religious nation often referred to as the melting-pot.
Muhyiddin cannot ignore this handful of politicians as they continue to fan the “racial flames and religious hatred” both in and outside parliament to gain political mileage for their political career.
It is evident, in parliament the speaker and the deputies have often turned a blind eye to avoid making a decision because of their livelihood.