Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin and his cabinet step down

11:46, 16 August 2021
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin and his cabinet step down Photo: Muhyiddin Yassin/

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin tendered his resignation to the King after he had been on duty since March 2020. 

The decision came after the government has been heavily criticized for its COVID-19 handling and it faced pressure from the opposition. Malaysia shows the worst number of infections and deadly cases in South-East Asia.

The future of the next government remains unclear due to either an absence of a certain candidate, as none of them has a majority in parliament, or whether it is possible to run elections during the pandemic.

The King, Al-Sultan Abdullah, can appoint a Prime Minister from among elected candidates, so his decision would depend on who he thinks is most likely to command a majority.

The most expected candidates for the premiership are deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and member of parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, both from the United Malays National Organization.

The pressure for Muhyiddin has increased after some UMNO lawmakers, allegedly, stopped supporting him. Muhyiddin said that the recent crisis was connected with his refusal to drop the corruption charges against some individuals.

UMNO, which is also called Malaysia’s “Grand old party” was moved out from the government in 2018 after being tainted by corruption allegations.