Malaysia king keeps Muhyiddin as interim PM after resignation

TEHRAN, Aug. 16 (MNA) – Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has handed his resignation to the king but will stay on as interim premier, the palace said on Monday, after months of political turmoil culminated in the loss of his majority.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet have resigned after just 17 months in power amid infighting within his coalition and a resurgent wave of COVID-19, Al-Jazeera reported.

Muhyiddin held the last cabinet meeting on Monday morning before going to the palace to tender his resignation to the king.

In a television address at 3.30 p.m. (07:00 GMT), Muhyiddin struck a sombre tone and said he had decided to step down because he had lost his majority in parliament and that he hoped that a new government would be formed soon.

74-year-old Muhyiddin has been under almost constant pressure since he came to power in March 2020 as head of a new Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition after a power grab within the previous government. His resignation followed months of infighting within PN against a backdrop of increasing public anger over the political squabbling at a time when COVID-19 was surging.

Some 12,510 people have now died from the disease in Malaysia as overloaded government hospitals struggle to cope with the influx of patients.

On Sunday, Malaysia recorded 20,546 cases on Sunday, its fourth successive day of more than 20,000 cases.

In a statement, the palace said that Muhyiddin would remain as a caretaker prime minister, adding that it was not appropriate to hold an election during the COVID-19 crisis.

In his address, Muhyiddin said that he was not prepared to work with the corrupt, a reference to the graft trials facing the president and other prominent members of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which was part of his ruling coalition, but whose regular threats of withdrawal led to the government’s eventual collapse.

ZZ/PR

News Code 177420

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