News   /   More

Malaysia's PM Muhyiddin tenders resignation amid political turmoil

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (Photo by AP)

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has finally declared his resignation after months of political infighting within his coalition government, which saw him lose the confidence of the majority of legislators.

Muhyiddin, who rose to power in March 2020, made the announcement during a televised interview on Monday, expressing optimism for the formation of a new government as soon as possible while being asked by the country’s monarch to remain in charge as a caretaker leader.

This is while the palace of King Al-Sultan Abdullah further pointed out in a Facebook statement that the king does not feel that an election would be the best option and was happy for Muhyiddin to stay on as caretaker.

"The king has received the resignation letter of Muhyiddin Yassin and the entire cabinet effective immediately," said the statement. "Following the resignation, the king is pleased for Muhyiddin to fill the role as caretaker prime minister until a new prime minister is appointed."

The decision was thrust into the hands of the king, who can appoint a prime minister from among elected lawmakers on the basis of who he thinks is most likely to command a majority.

The prime minister will stay on in his governing position, for which no other candidate yet exists in the absence of any party with a clear majority in parliament.

Later in the day, Muhyiddin said in a nationally televised address that he had submitted his resignation to the king because he had lost the confidence of the parliamentary majority, emphasizing his desire for the establishment of a new administration as soon as possible.

The king also underlined that it was not suitable to hold elections during a pandemic amid reports that Malaysia's COVID-19 infections and deaths per million remain the highest in Southeast Asia.

Muhyiddin's hold on power has remained perilous ever since he came into office in March 2020 with a slim majority.

Pressure on him surged recently after a number of legislators from the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) party -- the largest bloc in the ruling alliance -- withdrew their support.

Muhyiddin had recently unveiled that the persisting political crisis was tied to his refusal to submit to demands such as dropping corruption charges against some individuals.

UMNO politicians facing corruption charges include former premier Najib Razak and party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. They have denied wrongdoing and were among those who withdrew support for Muhyiddin earlier this month.

The power struggle in the ruling coalition unfolded at a time when Muhyiddin has sought to reboot a pandemic-stricken economy and contain a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

The country’s ringgit currency had earlier fallen to a one-year low and its stock market skidded.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku