Harrington finished seven under par, one behind leader Joost Luiten, when play was suspended for the day due to electrical storms. Luiten carded the day’s best round with a 63 on the par-71 course in Johor Bahru.
Gregory Bourdy of France and Australia’s Marcus Fraser joined Harrington on seven-under as they also carded 64s.
Scottish duo Richie Ramsay and Stephen Gallacher were at three-under in a group that also contained Anthony Kim, after the American signed for a 68. Colin Montgomerie had reached one-under after 11 holes.