The government also aggressively ramped up the vaccination programme since it kicked off officially on Feb 24, with Mr Muhyiddin being administered his first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The government’s initial goal was to vaccinate at least 80 per cent of its population within a year. The successful implementation of the programme encouraged the government to modify the goal and announce that 100 per cent of adults may now be fully vaccinated by October.
Increasing the vaccination capacity is the most effective way for Malaysia to get out of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, Mr Muhyiddin had stressed.
As of Monday, the country has recorded more than 1.4 million COVID-19 cases and 12,000 deaths. More than 45 per cent of the country’s adult population have been fully vaccinated so far.
PRESSURE FROM POLITICAL ALLY UMNO
For the most part of his time in office, Mr Muhyiddin was hamstrung by dissent within PN, with UMNO repeatedly threatening to withdraw its support.
Among other factors, this stemmed from how both UMNO and Bersatu target the same voter base, and that UMNO is the party with the most number of Lower House seats in the coalition.
Bersatu has been regarded as an offshoot of UMNO. Mr Muhyiddin was serving as deputy prime minister from UMNO when he was sacked by then party president Najib Razak in 2015 for speaking out over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.
Following PH’s collapse at the federal level last year, state administrations in Melaka, Johor and Perak also fell to PN, with UMNO taking the chief minister’s posts in these three states.
UMNO tried to engineer a change in government in Sabah as well but this was pre-empted by incumbent chief minister Mohd Shafie Apdal from Parti Warisan Sabah, who dissolved the state legislature and paved the way for a state election.
PN eventually won and Bersatu claimed the post of Sabah chief minister.