Malaysia Edition: Political economy headwinds | Zero Covid-19 deaths

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The political economy took centre stage in our Malaysian coverage this week. First, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said in an exclusive interview that the government would not bow to demands from major telecommunications players to control the state-owned company that will roll out Malaysia's already-delayed 5G mobile network.

And while chicken supply has improved in Malaysia after a series of trade interventions by the government, prices remain high. Apart from soaring feed costs, the industry is also seeing a labour shortage that critics say will be worsened by a new identification system for foreign workers.

On the pandemic front, Malaysia recorded no Covid-19 deaths for the first time since Dec 2020. Meanwhile the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition is readying itself for a general election, which many of its leaders want held this year.

But it is facing a fresh slew of controversies that include the Johor Sultan's suggestion the southern state could be better off seceding from Malaysia, and the country's lawyers marching against alleged judicial intimidation.

Malaysia sticks to its guns despite telco demands as 5G deadline looms

The "Big Four" mobile network operators are dragging their feet and insisting on favourable terms to maintain control of the industry.


Malaysia's move to stockpile chickens improves domestic supply, but prices continue to rise

The stockpiling was meant as a short-term measure to tackle food supply shortages and price hikes.


Don't treat us like a stepchild: Johor Sultan slams federal fund allocation, unfulfilled promises

He handed over his official duties to Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim to "take a break" for an unspecified duration.


Umno-led Barisan Nasional preparing for Malaysia election this year

National polls must be held by September 2023.


Doubts over Malaysia's proposed ID system for foreign workers amid labour shortage

Experts are concerned the system could make it harder to tackle an acute shortage of foreign labour.


Hundreds of Malaysian lawyers gather to protest treatment of senior judge

They demand the government condemn the actions of the graft agency probing the Court of Appeal judge.


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