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On a seven-day moving average basis, Malaysia on Wednesday recorded 483.72 confirmed Covid infections per million people – the eighth highest in the world and the first in Asia, according to the latest data compiled by the online repository Our World in Data.
Meanwhile, the nation’s daily reported deaths linked to Covid were around 4.90 per million people on Tuesday on a seven-day moving average. It is ranked 19th in the world and third in Asia, according to the data.
Our World in Data is a collaboration between researchers at the University of Oxford and the British non-profit organization Global Change Data Lab.
Political analysts blame the government’s mismanagement of the epidemic as it escalates.
“Malaysia’s response is hampered by chaotic governance and persistent political struggles,” wrote Joshua Kurlantzick, senior research fellow for Southeast Asia at the think tank Council on Foreign Relations, in a report.
The political crisis in Malaysia
Political opponents have long challenged Muhyiddin’s claim for majority support in the country’s 222-seat parliament. Calls for the prime minister’s resignation – even among his allies – have intensified after the Malaysian king on Thursday issued a rare reprimand over the government’s handling of the state of emergency.
Many analysts saw the move as an attempt by the struggling prime minister to preserve his political position, especially when parliament has been suspended in an emergency and elections cannot take place.
When parliament reconvened this week, the government surprised the nation by announcing that it had decided to end the state of emergency effective July 21. The king said the unilateral dismissal of the government did not follow constitutional procedure.
Resumption of covid vaccines
Economists at British bank Barclays have estimated that Malaysia – along with Singapore and South Korea – would be among Asian countries to reach “critical levels” of immunization this year.
Still, economists said the worsening epidemic and ongoing social distancing measures have hurt Malaysia’s growth prospects.
Barclays last month cut its growth projection for 2021 from 5.5% to 5%. That’s well below the Malaysian central bank’s forecast range of 6% to 7.5%.