Malaysia’s Muhyiddin resigns after 17 months in power | Political News

Muhyiddin became Malaysia’s shortest-serving prime minister despite continued conflict within his coalition government.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet have resigned after just 17 months in office amid infighting within his coalition government and a resurgence in coronavirus infections.

Muhyiddin held his final cabinet meeting on Monday morning before heading to the palace to submit his resignation to the king.

In a televised address at 3:30 p.m. (7 p.m. Japan time), Muhyiddin said in a gloomy tone that he had decided to resign after losing his parliamentary majority and hoped a new government would be formed soon. said.

Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who led the government’s coronavirus vaccination program, previously confirmed on Instagram that the government was stepping down.

“That’s all for now,” he wrote on his Instagram Story, giving the final update on the mass vaccination campaign.

“The Cabinet has submitted its resignation to the Agong (King). Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve the nation once again. May God bless Malaysia.”

Muhyiddin, 74, has been under near constant pressure since coming to power as leader of the New Perikatan Nationalist Party (PN) coalition in March 2020 after seizing power within the previous government. His resignation comes after months of infighting within the PN, against a backdrop of growing public anger over political conflict amid a surge in coronavirus infections.

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

Malaysia recorded 20,546 infections on Sunday, marking the fourth consecutive day the number of infections exceeded 20,000.

Muhyiddin (centre) and his ministers pose for a final portrait before heading to the palace to tender their resignation. [Department of Information via EPA]

The palace said in a statement that Muhyiddin would remain “interim” prime minister, adding that it was not appropriate to hold elections during the coronavirus crisis.

Muhyiddin said in his speech that he was not ready to cooperate with corrupt people, citing corruption trials facing the president and other prominent members of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), which is part of the ruling coalition. mentioned. Periodic threats of withdrawal eventually led to the collapse of the government.

“I could have taken the easy way out and sacrificed my principles to remain prime minister,” he said on television. “But that was not my choice. I will not compromise with kleptocratic politicians or interfere with the freedom of the judiciary just to stay in power.”

Given the increasingly difficult nature of politics in a country where the majority of the population is Malay-Muslim but also has large communities of Chinese and Indians as well as indigenous peoples, It is not clear who will have enough support to establish one. .

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) will ensure that anyone who holds office immediately calls a motion of confidence in parliament, ensuring multi-party governance and institutions rather than “horse-trading for numbers and positions”. He called on them to commit to a vision for reform. ” and that it has proven to be a source of instability.

“Myopic and selfish governments will be punished mercilessly by voters in the next election,” the group warned in a statement.

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