The Big Story: Malaysia declares state of emergency until Aug 1 to battle Covid-19

SINGAPORE - Catch up on the hottest topics on The Straits Times' weekday talk show.

The Big Story, broadcast every weekday at 5.30pm on Facebook and YouTube, has reporters and senior editors discussing the top stories of the day.

The show is helmed by multimedia correspondent Hairianto Diman and assistant video editor Olivia Quay, and airs live from ST's digital studio.

Malaysia has declared a national emergency to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. In a special broadcast on Tuesday (Jan 12), Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin assured Malaysians that the emergency order is "not a military coup and curfews will not be enforced".

The Perikatan Nasional government's previous request for an emergency declaration last October was rejected by King Abdullah Ahmad Shah. The move drew criticism from Mr Muhyiddin's political rivals that it was intended to suspend Parliament and avoid snap polls being called.

On Tuesday, Mr Muhyiddin said there will be no Parliament or state assembly sittings for the duration of the emergency. However, he committed to holding a general election as soon as the Covid-19 crisis was under control.

Malaysia bureau chief Shannon Teoh discusses these developments.

Also on today's show, Dr Stanislav Protassov, co-founder and technology president of global tech company Acronis, weighs in on changes to WhatsApp's terms and services.

These updates will allow the messaging app to share user data, including phone numbers and location, with its parent company Facebook. Although messages will remain encrypted, privacy concerns have made existing users reconsider using WhatsApp. Most notably, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's media office and the country's defence ministry have said that they are quitting WhatsApp.

We will also share the latest news from Singapore and around the world.