Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin Resigns

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has resigned, according to a statement by the Palace. The resignation comes as Malaysia battles the Covid-19 pandemic after several rounds of lockdowns.

Muhyiddin will remain as a “caretaker” prime minister until a new leader is appointed, said the palace’s statement. The palace added that the king thought an election was “not the best option” now, given the risks of Covid.

Before the release of the palace’s statement, Malaysia’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin said in a post on his verified Instagram account that the cabinet has submitted its resignation to the king.

In a televised address, Muhyiddin said he hopes a new government can be formed soon to ensure that the economic recovery and Covid vaccine rollout continue smoothly.

The search for Malaysia’s next prime minister seems to have narrowed to two leading candidates – Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Anwar Ibrahim – with the former widely believed to have the edge. The new leader is expected to be named on August 20 following a secret ballot.

Muhyiddin had said earlier this year that he would hold polls as soon as it was safe to do so amid the pandemic, although elections were not due until 2023.

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