Malaysia’s biggest political party pulls support for prime minister

Bangkok Desk, Jul 8 (EFE).- Malaysia’s biggest political party and an ally in the ruling coalition announced on Wednesday night that it was withdrawing its support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, and called for his resignation over his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, plunging the country into a new political crisis.

The president of the United Malays National Organization (UNMO), Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said in a statement issued on Thursday that the prime minister had not fulfilled UNMO’s conditions for support by failing to promote economic recovery or containing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zahid called for the appointment of an interim prime minister to focus on efforts to manage the pandemic and said elections should be convened when herd immunity is achieved in the country.

“The failure of this government is very apparent. It has misused the state of emergency proclamation, which is seen as nothing but a political ploy, and has only brought detriment to the people and its economy,” Zahid said.

However, Muhyiddin could remain in office due to the uncertainty created by the state of emergency in the country over the pandemic, which has led to the suspension of parliament.

The prime minister has yet to comment on the matter, while members of the government belonging to UNMO, with portfolios such as defense, health and foreign affairs, have not spoken about their future in the Cabinet either.

Muhyiddin, 73, was appointed prime minister in March 2020 after a deep political crisis sparked by internal rebellions in the previous government coalition.

Malaysia imposed a nationwide lockdown in June after a strong Covid-19 outbreak in a country, where more than 800,000 infections have been registered, the third highest number in Southeast Asia, only behind Indonesia and the Philippines. EFE


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