Malaysia’s king appoints Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister

Malaysia’s king appoints Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister
Muhyiddin Yassin will be sworn in on Sunday. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times, Kuala Lampur: Muhyiddin Yassin will become Malaysia’s next prime minister, the country’s king said on Saturday, saying he may have the majority support among lawmakers in parliament.

Muhyiddin will be sworn in on March 1st, the palace said in a statement.

The surprise decision from the king ended the country’s leadership tussle.

The palace said in a statement that the King had spoken to lawmakers and party leaders this week to determine who has the most support to lead the country. Mr. Muhyiddin won the backing of opposition parties.

Malaysia has undergone a week of extreme political turmoil, which saw the implosion of the government less than halfway through its term after a power struggle boiled over and Mahathir resigned. The king made him interim prime minister while trying to end the crisis.

The country has undergone a week of extreme political turmoil. All started when Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad submitted his resignation to the King last week.

Muhyiddin Yassin was selected by the king in an attempt to end the crisis.

He was backed by the Barisan Nasional coalition, which still counts former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been linked to a multibillion-dollar scandal involving a government fund.

Mahathir said early Saturday that he had won the backing of the Pakatan Harapan coalition he abandoned earlier this week. But it seemed to have been a little too late.

Earlier in Saturday, Mahathir said he had won the support of the Pakatan Harapan coalition he abandoned earlier this week. But it seemed to have been a little late.

In the latest twist to the country’s political deadlock, Mahathir declared he still had enough backing to become prime minister. The Pakatan Harapan alliance shifted their support to him from their leader Anwar Ibrahim, who signaled his approval of the on-again, off-again relationship by tweeting “it’s time to do the right thing.”

The feud between Mahathir and Anwar is one that has dominated Malaysian politics for decades.

Mahathir was the prime minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003 and was part of the long-ruling party Barisan Nasional (BN).

Anwar Ibrahim was his deputy but the relation between them when Mr. Anwar was sacked in 1998 after a leadership dispute and sent to jail in an accusation of sodomy, which Mr. Ibrahim fully denied. This case was widely regarded as politically motivated.

But, in 2018, Mahathir Mohammad shocked the country when he announced that he was reunited with Mr. Anwar and Joining Pakatan Harapan to beat Najib Razak. He had met Nawar several times in jail and promised him to take him out of jail if elected. He also promised that he will hand over him premiership to Mr. Ibrahim after two years.

When Mahathir and Anwar’s alliance won the election – Mr. Mahathir agreed to eventually hand power over to Anwar but continuously denied to say when he would transfer power – stoking tensions within the opposition alliance.