Malaysian king appoints Muhyiddin Yassin as new premier


King’s decision dashes hopes of interim Premier Mahathir Mohamad regaining office he dramatically quit on Monday.

Malaysia’s king on Saturday picked Muhyiddin Yassin to be the country’s new prime minister.

Muhyiddin will be sworn in as Malaysia’s eight prime minister on Sunday morning, according to a statement by the royal palace.

“His Majesty has appointed YB Tan Sri Mahiaddin Bin Md Yasin (Muhyiddin) as Prime Minister in line with article 40(2)(a) and article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution,” said the statement.

The king’s shock decision dashed hopes of interim Premier Mahathir Mohamad regaining the office he dramatically quit on Monday.

After days of political wrangling, Mahathir seemed set for a comeback after gaining the support of the required number of lawmakers.

However, the king interviewed 222 MPs to determine who they support as the next prime minister before making his decision.

“After receiving representations from all party leaders and independent MPs, in the opinion of His Majesty, Pagoh MP Tan Sri Muhyiddin Bin Md Yassin (Muhyiddin) is likely to have the confidence of most MPs,” said the statement.

Muhyiddin is the president of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party, which makes him Mahathir’s deputy in the party’s hierarchy.

However, he has broken away from Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition and aligned with opposition parties, including the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

The UMNO is Malaysia’s largest opposition party and part of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition that ruled the country for decades but was defeated by the PH coalition in the 2018 general elections.

“The king decreed that the process to appoint a prime minister should not be delayed because the country needs a government for the prosperity of the people and the country we love,” the statement further said.

“The king decreed this to be the best outcome for all and His Highness hopes this political crisis would end.”