Malaysian PM rejects mounting calls to quit

Malaysian PM rejects mounting calls to quit

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin refused to yield to mounting calls to quit Wednesday but said he would face a no-confidence vote in parliament in September.

After the king rebuked the government for misleading the parliament, political tensions in the country have been escalating, with hundreds of people holding a rare anti-government protest last weekend.

The most recent crackdown occurred on Tuesday, when several members of the United Malay National Organization (UMNO), the largest party in his coalition, publicly cancelled their support and a cabinet minister resigned.

Umno leaders stated that the withdrawal of support means that Muhyiddin will no longer hold a majority of seats in the parliament.

Muhyiddin met with the main adviser late at night, and on Wednesday with the King of Malaysia, Sultan Abdullah Ahmed Shah, whose support is important in Malaysian politics.

“In the meeting, I informed the king that I have sufficient declaration letters which has convinced me that I still have the confidence of the majority of MPs in the parliament at the moment,” he said in a televised address.

“Hence the stepping down of myself as prime minister under the constitution… does not arise,” he added.

“A vote of confidence for my leadership will be proposed in parliament which will meet in September.”

Muhyiddin said the king agreed to his proposal.

Muhyiddin said that the king agreed with his proposal.

The Malaysian prime minister came to power last year under the leadership of a coalition hit by the scandal, but his government fell into crisis after major allies withdrew support, and he was severely criticized for handling the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

The country recorded 17,105 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 1,163,291 and the death toll exceeded 9,500.

The parliament started meeting for the first time this year last month, but after the legislature detected multiple coronavirus cases, the last meeting scheduled for Monday was cancelled.

Muhyiddin’s competitors said the cancellation was an excuse to avoid a vote of no confidence.

Political activities are suspended in a state of emergency, ostensibly to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The emergency officially ended on Sunday, but the nationwide blockade still exists.

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