Muhyiddin on his first year as PM

Published date28 February 2021
Publication titleMalay Mail Online

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin took the bull by the horns in his first year in office to keep a deadly pandemic at bay as he micro-managed to put food on the table for Malaysians and ensure no one is left behind.

The Prime Minister, who helms the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, has procured the vaccine for the Covid-19 disease and provided up to RM300 billion in stimulus aid packages to ensure the survival of the people in a year of unprecedented difficulties.

In a special interview with several media organisations on his first year in office, Muhyiddin, 73, recalled the immediate challenges he had to face, especially the negative perception of the people towards him and, even worse, the demand by his political foes for his resignation purportedly over waning support from the MPs.

However, he ignored the odds and bad-mouthing and went ahead with his plans to take the country to greater heights, gaining more confidence among the people as he brought in the Covid-19 vaccine and he took the first shot to dispel any fear over immunisation.

Muhyiddin had taken over the leadership of the nation at a time when the world and country faced a difficult situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

'Insya-Allah (God willing), the Perikatan Nasional government completing one year in office with me as the prime minister is something that I had least expected, but it is all the will of Allah SWT (God),' he said in the interview at his residence in Bukit Damansara.

The interview was also carried on the Buletin Bernama news segment over Bernama TV and other television channels at 8 pm today.

Muhyiddin, who became Malaysia's eighth prime minister on March 1, 2020, said he discharged his duties and responsibilities for the sake of the people and nation.

'I'm doing what is best for the nation. I know that I carry a trust. I have to fulfil that trust although I was not elected in a normal election. Somebody had the mandate but (following) a crisis, I was appointed (as the prime minister),' he said.

Muhyiddin found himself in an extraordinary position that demanded immediate action and a different approach by the government in comparison to previous governments.

He went to work to keep the Covid-19 threat at bay and ensure that the people had jobs and food on the table, and the economy, security and public order as well as unity were maintained.

Striving hard to manage the Covid-19 pandemic through the whole-of-society approach, Muhyiddin was determined to do the best for the people and nation despite the challenge of realising the desire for Malaysia to be a developed nation by 2030.

'I will do my best. I want to leave my legacy not for my own self, (but) for my country during my tenure. I'll do the best for the country.

'So, that's my commitment and I can tell Malaysians that I will be committed to upholding my responsibility as the prime minister. I'll do my very best. I'll fight against corruption. I'll not interfere in any judiciary, (not) interfere in the courts. I will do what is best for the country. Insya-Allah (God willing),' said Muhyiddin, who is the MP for Pagoh.

In a straightforward tone throughout the interview, the prime minister explained the measures and actions taken by the PN government to address the Covid-19 pandemic through the whole-of-society approach which requires all quarters to work together with the government to handle the problem.

He said that via the committees under the National Security Council (MKN), Economic Action Council and other related committees, meetings and discussions were held daily to manage Covid-19 and its impact on the country.

Expressing gratitude over the smooth running of the government administration, he said civil servants were committed to carrying out their responsibilities and that security and public order were under control and unity was unaffected.

He also expressed gratitude to the people and advised them to remain united and resolute, and be together to face the pandemic.

Muhyiddin said the most immediate and extraordinary action of the PN government was to enforce the Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18, 2020, followed by several levels of the MCO to balance the lives and livelihood of the people and every sector affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic struck the country on Jan 25, 2020, with the first wave of infections involving import cases. The second wave hit at the end of February 2020. The disease progressed to the third wave in the middle of September 2020. The number of cases kept rising to reach a height of 5,725 on Jan 29 this year.

In the interview of almost an hour, Muhyiddin, who is president of Bersatu, was asked a wide range of questions pertaining to the government and national administration, management of Covid-19, the economic stimulus packages and government initiatives to help the people, the people's acceptance and achievements of the PN government, the Proclamation of Emergency, Malaysia's foreign policy as well as his aspirations.

He was also asked about the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme which reflects the determination of the PN government to ensure the well-being of the people.

Muhyiddin was the first person in the country to be vaccinated against Covid-19, on February 24. He wanted to dispel any fear over immunisation against the disease. The Director-General of Health, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, also got vaccinated on that day.

Following are excerpts from the interview:

Question: It has been a year...

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