Muhyiddin resigns as M'sia PM

He's out.

Sulaiman Daud | August 16, 2021, 01:42 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

Muhyiddin Yassin, the eighth Prime Minister of Malaysia, has officially resigned from his post.

In a live televised broadcast today (Aug. 16), he confirmed his resignation due to a loss of parliamentary majority support.

Muhyiddin said today is his last day as prime minister, and added that he'll be caretaker prime minister till a new prime minister is determined.

Malaysian Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin revealed on his Instagram page earlier today (Aug. 16) that Muhyiddin's Cabinet had tendered its resignation to the king.

Muhyiddin's rise

Muhyiddin's departure comes after a tumultuous 17 months in the top job, making him the shortest-serving prime minister in the country.

He came to power after he announced Bersatu's exit from the the then-ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition in early 2020, causing its collapse.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned, became interim Prime Minister, and Muhyiddin replaced him in February 2020 after satisfying the Yang di-Pertuan Negara, Malaysia's king, that he commanded the support of a majority of Members of Parliament (MPs).

Muhyiddin had his hands full with the Covid-19 pandemic spreading throughout the world. He implemented a lockdown and a stimulus package to help the nation tide it through.

Cases remained relatively low until September 2020, when an outbreak occurred after the Sabah state election.

Muhyiddin's parliamentary majority was tested in November 2020, but prevailed after his 2021 Budget was passed.

State of emergency

However, the rising Covid-19 cases led to Muhyiddin seeking emergency powers from the king, who agreed to declare a state of emergency in January 2021.

Despite various lockdown measures and the rollout of a vaccination programme, Malaysia's Covid-19 cases kept rising.

Malaysians battered by the pandemic and the economic restrictions expressed their need for help with the White Flag campaign, and their dissatisfaction with the government with the widely-used "Kerajaan Gagal (Failed Government)" hashtag on social media.

Knives out

Meanwhile, the opposition criticised the state of emergency, claiming that Muhyiddin wished to avoid a parliament sitting and a confidence vote that would show that he no longer commanded the support of a majority of MPs.

Muhyiddin's own coalition partners, UMNO, made moves against him, claiming their withdrawal of support, even though it seemed as though several UMNO politicians Muhyiddin appointed to Cabinet stood by him.

For a moment, it looked as though Muhyiddin had bought himself some breathing room, announcing a parliament sitting in September, where a vote of confidence would be held.

However, the announcement by one of his ministers on Aug. 15 that Muhyiddin would resign was the first time in his tenure that Muhyiddin showed any sign that he would step down from the top job.

Related stories:

Follow and listen to our podcast here:

Top image from Muhyiddin Yassin's Twitter account.