Malaysian Prime Minister resigns as political crisis escalates

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday August 16 resigned from his position after months of political turmoil.

Muhyiddin offered his resignation to the King after holding a special meeting with his cabinet. This follows months of political instability that led to the loss of his majority in parliament. His resignation also hampers efforts to reboot a pandemic-stricken economy and curb a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

He said in a televised address that he had submitted his resignation to the king because he had failed to maintain the confidence of a majority of lawmakers.

The Southeast Asian nation’s King has now appointed Muhyiddin as the caretaker prime minister until a new premier can be found, but did not give a timeline.

King Al-Sultan Abdullah ruled out elections because of the pandemic and said he would invoke his constitutional power to appoint a prime minister he believes is likely to command a majority.

A statement released after Muhyiddin’s resignation read;

“The king has received the resignation letter of Muhyiddin Yassin and the entire cabinet effective immediately.

“Following the resignation, the king is pleased for Muhyiddin to fill the role as caretaker prime minister until a new prime minister is appointed.”

When the previous ruling coalition collapsed in February 2020, the king, Malaysia’s constitutional monarch, met all 222 lawmakers to determine who had majority support, eventually selecting Muhyiddin.

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