Malaysia’s Political Crisis Is Dooming Its COVID-19 Response

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attends a Parliament session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 13, 2020 (AP photo by Vincent Thian).
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attends a Parliament session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 13, 2020 (AP photo by Vincent Thian).

Southeast Asia has in recent weeks become an epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indonesia is recording the highest number of confirmed new cases per day in the world, and even one-time success stories like Thailand and Vietnam are experiencing major outbreaks. Myanmar, which remains mired in crisis following a coup in February, is suffering from the unchecked spread of the virus. And Malaysia is reporting roughly 12,000 cases per day, the highest per capita average in the region. But unlike every other Southeast Asian state save Myanmar, Malaysia’s response is being hampered by chaotic governance and persistent political infighting. With Parliament suspended since January due to a controversial […]

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