Anwar & Azmin Clash Over Whether MITI Approvals Led To Increase In COVID-19 Cases

Remember the memes you saw of Azmin holding a chart? Well, here's the backstory.

Cover image via MalaysiaGazette TV (Youtube) & @iamjoelee (Twitter)

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Recently, social media was ablaze with Photoshopped images of International Trade and Industry Minister Azmin Ali holding a chart in Parliament

A screenshot of the undoctored image of Azmin.

Image via @iamjoelee (Twitter)

The incident, which occurred in Parliament yesterday, 26 July, has been doctored many times over by mischievous netizens to mock the Gombak member of Parliament (MP).

Azmin had brandished the chart in an exchange with Port Dickson MP Anwar Ibrahim, who had accused the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) of causing the current surge in COVID-19 infections

In his closing remarks as Leader of The Opposition, Anwar took a swipe at Azmin, laying the blame at his door as a result of unscrupulous approvals to operate given to factories and industries who do not follow standard operating procedures (SOPs).

"We all have to follow the standard operating procedures, but among the disasters that we have faced is how MITI gave approval through the backdoor to anyone interested," Anwar was quoted as saying by Malay Mail.

He went on to say that these 'backdoor approvals' had caused huge clusters of COVID-19 cases, which he alleges that Deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob would concur, had he been allotted time to speak.

Ismail Sabri previously was the minister in charge of COVID-19 SOP enforcement and national security before his promotion to the number two position in the government.

Anwar Ibrahim animatedly illustrating how Azmin allegedly gave MITI approvals during his speech.

Image via MalaysiaGazette TV (Youtube)

Azmin promptly stood up, asserting to his former party colleague to "speak using facts"

The exchange is as such, per Malay Mail.

Azmin: I want to ask for an explanation from Port Dickson. If you want to speak use facts and the correct data, I have the data here.

At this point Azmin pulled up the chart, to many groans by fellow MPs in the house.

Anwar: Just wait for your floor (sic) and answer, stop thinking about the commissions, think about the people.

Azmin: Only 8.8% (of COVID-19 clusters) are from the manufacturing sector!

At this point, the presiding Deputy Speaker Rashid Hasnon interjected and told Anwar that his allocated time to speak was up.

Earlier in Anwar's address, he responded to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's opening remarks at the reopening of parliament after many months under a state of emergency.

However, the Prime Minister promptly left the floor after finishing his speech, which prompted outcry from members of the opposition, culminating in this memorable exchange.

Here are other memes netizens made out of what proved to be a memorable first day of the special parliamentary session:

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