• Friday, Dec 03, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:52 am

Malaysian king urges politicians to unite as new PM hunt starts

  • Published at 09:38 am August 17th, 2021
Malaysia Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim gestures outside the National Palace after meeting with Malaysia's King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah in Kuala Lumpur on August 17, 2021 AFP

Following a turbulent 17 months in office, Muhyiddin finally quit when he lost his parliamentary majority on Monday

Malaysia's king on Tuesday urged rival politicians to unite to battle a worsening coronavirus outbreak as the hunt began for a new prime minister, an opposition leader said. 

Analysts said the monarch, who appoints the premier, was trying to push the country's political parties towards forming a unity government following Muhyiddin Yassin's resignation Monday. 

Following a turbulent 17 months in office, Muhyiddin finally quit when he lost his parliamentary majority and amid mounting public anger at his government's handling of Malaysia's worst Covid-19 wave.

The king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, has ruled out elections due to the outbreak, meaning it will likely be up to him to pick the next premier based on who commands most support.

But there is no clear successor for 74-year-old Muhyiddin, as no alliance has majority backing in parliament.

An opposition bloc is pushing for Anwar Ibrahim, remnants of Muhyiddin's collapsed government may try to build a coalition, while some have proposed a unity administration until the outbreak is under control.

After a meeting at the national palace with other party chiefs, long-time opposition leader Anwar said the king had told them “The country is a facing political and constitutional crisis."

"By the look of it, all the parties seem to have come to a consensus -- that is to end 'old politics'... and focus on the development of the country," he added.

The monarch was accompanied by the influential deputy king at the meeting. 

This indicated agreement among Malaysia's revered Islamic royal families "with regards to the proposal for a unity government", said Oh Ei Sun, an analyst at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

MPs have also been asked to submit the name of their choice for prime minister to the palace by Wednesday afternoon, and the drama is expected to take several days to play out.

A premier must have the support of at least 111 MPs out of 222 in the lower house of parliament.

Malaysia's political landscape has been in disarray since polls in 2018 that saw a scandal-plagued coalition ejected after six decades in power, and replaced by a reformist alliance. 

But that alliance collapsed, and Muhyiddin came to power in March last year without an election. 

His government was unstable from the outset, however, with a razor-thin majority in parliament and facing constant questions over its legitimacy.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail