Politics, Asia - Pacific

Malaysian prime minister denies to resign amid mounting pressure

Yassin meets with King, announces to file confidence motion in parliament next month after major ally withdraws support

Devina Halim   | 04.08.2021
Malaysian prime minister denies to resign amid mounting pressure

JAKARTA, Indonesia

Following the withdrawal of support from a major political ally, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin defied political pressure on Wednesday by announcing that he will not resign, instead file a confidence motion in parliament next month to determine his legitimacy as prime minister.

Muhyiddin made the announcement in a televised public address after meeting with the country's King Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in the morning.

Muhyiddin was seen entering the palace's main gate at 10:53 am local time on Wednesday and then leaving at 11:50 am local time, according to state news agency Bernama.

On Tuesday, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the president of United Malay National Organization (UMNO), the government’s biggest ally, announced that following its special Supreme Council meeting, the party decided to will stand with the King and not support the Muhyiddin’s administration. He added that Muhyiddin has now lost his legitimacy as prime minister and lost his majority.

Prior to Muhyiddin's visit, Attorney General Idrus was seen entering the State Palace through a different door at around 09:30 am local time.

"Only through this manner, will my position as prime minister and the Perikatan Nasional ruling government be determined in accordance with the law and the Constitution," the prime minister said, adding that the king has agreed to his proposal.

Muhyiddin claimed to have received a number of letters confirming that he still has a majority in parliament and, therefore, he will not resign from his position as prime minister.

He also talked about certain parties that deliberately created political crisis, claiming that his opponents were dissatisfied with his firm refusal to meet their demands, which included calls for the release of several individuals who were indicted on criminal charges.

Earlier on Tuesday, Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, minister of energy and natural resources from the UMNO, resigned from his office after considering his party's decision.

In Malaysia, a majority of 112 of the 222-seat parliament is required to form a government.

Muhyiddin rules with a 113-seat majority and leads an unstable coalition that has been in power since March 2020. Out of the 113 seats, 68 belong to the UMNO.

*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo with Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta

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