Malaysia’s king selects Ismail Yaakob as new PM

Bangkok, Aug 20 (EFE).- Malaysia’s King Abdullah of Pahang on Friday selected Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the new prime minister, the third change of hands in as many years as the Asian country grapples with a political crisis.

Announced in a statement form the royal palace, Yaakob’s replacement of Muhyiddin Yassin will be ratified by Parliament on Saturday, where he is set to obtain 114 votes in favor, a majority by three votes.

Yaakob, 61, is a veteran politician who previously served as Yassin’s deputy prime minister and is the vice-president of the United Malays National Organization political party, which governed for decades until 2018 when, mired by major international corruption scandals centred around then-prime minister Najib Razak, it lost power in elections.

Muhyiddin resigned on Monday after 17 months in power, making him the shortest-serving PM in Malaysia’s history.

His government lost the support of an important coalition partner at a time of increasingly negative public opinion over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic crisis.

Muhyiddin first came to power in March 2020, just before a health emergency was declared in Malaysia.

The latest political crisis comes as the country battles with its worst Covid-19 wave so far, with more than 22,200 cases and 350 deaths reported daily. EFE


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