End of a Decade: Most Memorable 10 M’sian Headlines From 2010 – 2019jessie tan
2019 is going to end in a blink of an eye. Besides marking the end of the year, it also marks the end of a decade and we’re entering the next decade – 2020, here we come. As this decade is ending soon, here’s 10 headlines that had Malaysia shook throughout the 2010s. Are you guys ready? Jom, let’s go!
2010: Malaysia Day is celebrated throughout Malaysia for the first time
Malaysia Day falls on 16th of September. Back then, Malaysia Day was only celebrated in Sabah and Sarawak, whereas it’s a usual working day in Peninsular Malaysia. According to The Star, the 6th Prime Minister Najib Razak made the decision to make Malaysia Day a nationwide public holiday in 2010 during a Q&A session at Parliament on 19 October 2009. Now, every Malaysian can commemorate the formation of Malaysian federation, which means another holiday for us. Hurray!
2011: Kindergarten hostage crisis in Muar, Johor
30 kindergarten children and 4 teachers held hostage by a madman armed with a hammer on 7th July 2011. According to Perak Today, the 40-year-old hostage-taker had two drug records prior to the incident. The children, aged between 3 and 6, and teachers were held hostage for six hours.
In the end, the police ran out of option and shot the man, freeing the hostages. The man was pronounced dead after being sent to hospital. Thankfully, all hostages were unharmed, and most of them later returned to the kindergarten when it re-opened, reports The Star.
2012: Badminton players Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Wong Mew Choo are married
Once the world’s best badminton player, Datuk Lee Chong Wei, married his one true love, Datin Wong Mew Choo, who was also an international badminton player, in 2012. On 9th November 2012, the wedding dinner reception was held at KLCC with about 1,500 guests attending, including many notable figures such as ministers and the 14th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Halim Mu’adzam Shah, according to Astro Awani.
Datuk Lee Chong Wei also talked about how he first met Wong Mew Choo in his Facebook post on their 7th anniversary.
In the post, he mentioned that they were peeking at each other from time to time, but he was too shy to approach her. His teammates then suggested he pluck some rose petals for her. Hilariously, however, he plucked shuttlecock feathers for her because he didn’t have the money. And that’s how he came to realise there are 16 feathers on a shuttlecock.
As cute as the post was, he also apologised for not being able to be by her side and expressed his love and gratitude to his wife for taking care of their home. Aww, that’s so sweet of him.
2013: The invasion of Lahad Datu, Sabah
According to Astro Awani, a group of over a hundred armed Filipino militants invaded Lahad Datu on 11th February 2013. Local fishermen discovered one gang from the group at night, and subsequently lodged a police report. They were identified as followers of the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III, and led by Jamalul’s brother Agbimuddin Kiram.
Malaysia and the Philippines tried to cooperate to resolve the conflict hopefully without bloodshed. Unfortunately, the first shootout happened between Malaysian security forces and the militants on 1st March 2013, killing 2 Malaysian policemen and 12 of Kiram’s supporters in the process. The Lahad Datu standoff ended with the deaths of 56 militants, 6 civilians and 9 Malaysian security forces personnel.
2014: The tragedy of MH370’s disappearance
On 8th March 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) en route to Beijing Capital International Airport from KLIA disappeared from the flight radars about one hour after its departure. 5 years later, the disappearance of MH370 still remains one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
Based on an investigation report of MH370 by the Ministry of Transport, the signal of MH370 was last detected by military radar at 2.22am. Malaysia Airlines officially announced MH370 presumably ended in the Southern Indian Ocean on 24th March 2014 after numerous search and rescue operations from several parties and countries.
There were 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 14 different nations on board, summing up to a total of 239 occupants. While it was later discovered that 2 Iranian passengers were onboard using stolen passports, they were not suspected to have any connection with terrorism, reported BBC.
Despite many clues and theories regarding MH370’s disappearance, the truth behind its disappearance is still yet to be discovered. Let’s hope that the tragedy will not repeat itself and the plane will be found one day.
2015: The implementation of 6% GST
On 1st April 2015, Goods & Services Tax (GST) was implemented with the purpose of replacing the sales and service tax. Although the 6% GST rate would be among the lowest in ASEAN countries, it still was an added burden to our cost of living at that point in time. The announcement of the 6% GST implementation was officially made on 25th October 2013 and many people went on a shopping spree before the implementation just to avoid the 6% surcharge.
Since 1st June 2018, GST was reduced to 0% and replaced with Sales & Services Tax (SST) instead starting 1st September 2018.
2016: Pokemon Go was launched in Malaysia
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality mobile game that players can ‘catch Pokemon’ in the real world. Many Malaysians were elated when this game was finally announced to launch in Malaysia on 6th August 2016. Although it was a big hit when it first released, the same game also caused numerous road accidents throughout the world. As much as you gotta catch ’em all, safety always comes first.
But did you know Pokemon Go was initially an April Fools’ Day joke released by the Google Maps team? On 31st March 2014, Google Maps released a prank trailer on YouTube for the Pokemon Challenge by Google Maps. It had received so much attention that many people demanded it to come true, and our voices were heard!
The developer Niantic has made the dreams of Pokemon trainers come true by turning the Pokemon Challenge into a reality. Although the trend has died down from its peak, the game has caught the hearts of many players, and they’re not quitting their journey to become a Pokemon Master!
2017: The assassination of Kim Jong-nam in KLIA2
On 13th February 2017, Kim Jong-nam, the half-sibling of the North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, was discovered dead in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2). According to Sin Chew, the police believed that the 2 arrested female and 4 male suspects were ‘rehearsing’ for the murder one day before Kim Jong-nam’s demise.
The 2 female suspects were a Vietnamese, Doan Thi Huong, and an Indonesian, Siti Aishah. But they were freed from the murder charge, according to the BBC. They were released as the suspects claimed to have been tricked into a part of an assassination plot and thought they were taking part in a prank for a TV show.
2018: GE14 — The formation of the new government
For the first time ever, an opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan (PH) won a General Election! This put a halt on the longest-serving government of 61 years, Barisan Nasional (BN). With a total of 113 seats from PH, they formed a new Government, which is only 1 seat more than the requirement. With that victory, YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad became the prime minister AGAIN! He also became the oldest prime minister to be elected in the world at 92 years old.
2019: Najib didn’t know that he had RM3.2bil in his bank account
Following BN’s loss in GE14, Datuk Seri Najib Razak was charged with a total of 7 charges involving the abuse of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds. On the second day of the defence trial in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case, he said he didn’t know there was US$1.05bil (RM3.2bil) in his personal bank account until the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) took his bank statement.
According to The Star, different foreign senders had transferred money into Najib’s bank account. He said, “I only found out about the transactions after my statement was taken by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and after my lawyer obtained related banking documents from AmBank.” Well, how did he not know about that huge sum of money in his personal account remains a mystery to all of us.
Are you feeling old yet? But no matter what happened in this decade, let us welcome 2020 with open arms.