Malaysia PM Muhyiddin Yassin resigns after failing to get majority
- "The Cabinet has tendered our resignation to the Agong," science minister Khairy Jamaluddin said
- PM Muhyiddin's support weakened after months of infighting in his coalition
- The king can appoint a new leader who he believes has the confidence of the Parliament
The Malaysian cabinet, led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, has tendered its resignation to the king, science minister Khairy Jamaluddin confirmed on Monday. This came after months of political crisis that culminated in Yassin losing his majority in the government.
Khairy announced the news on Instagram. "The Cabinet has tendered our resignation to the Agong. Thank you for the opportunity to, once again, serve the nation. May God bless Malaysia," he wrote in an Instagram story.
Earlier on Monday, PM Muhyiddin was seen entering the national palace, after reports he would tender his resignation to the king, CNN reported.
Muhyiddin's support weakened after months of infighting in his coalition. His resignation would end a tumultuous 17 months in office, but could also hamper Malaysia's efforts to reboot a pandemic-stricken economy and curb a resurgence in the novel coronavirus cases, as there is no obvious successor.
Malaysia has one of the world's highest infection rates and deaths per capita, with daily cases breaching 20,000 this month despite a seven-month state of emergency and a lockdown since June to tackle the crisis.
According to news agencies, the national police chief, the Election Commission chairman and the attorney-general were also summoned to the palace on Monday before Muhyiddin arrived.
It is reportedly said that Muhyiddin is likely to hold a news conference later.
Muhyiddin Yassin's government had a razor-thin majority and dodged leadership tests in Parliament from the beginning.
The Cabinet was finally knocked down when more than a dozen lawmakers from the biggest party in his alliance pulled their support for his government. Two ministers from the United Malays National Organization also resigned.
According to Malaysia's constitution, the Prime Minister should resign if he loses majority support and the king can appoint a new leader who he believes has the confidence of the Parliament.
Initially, Muhyiddin insisted he still has majority support and would prove this in Parliament next month. But in a u-turn on Friday, the premier sought Opposition backing to shore up his government.