Malaysia's king appoints Ismail Sabri Yaakob as new prime minister

WION Web Team
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Published: Aug 20, 2021, 02:54 PM(IST)

Ismail Sabri Yaakob Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Ismail Sabri, who was Muhyiddin's deputy, takes over as the Southeast Asian nation grapples with a surge in COVID-19 infections and an economic slump, amid growing public anger over the handling of the health crisis

Malaysia's king appointed Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the prime minister on Friday, replacing Muhyiddin Yassin, who stepped down this week after losing his parliamentary majority.

Ismail Sabri, who was Muhyiddin's deputy, takes over as the Southeast Asian nation grapples with a surge in COVID-19 infections and an economic slump, amid growing public anger over the handling of the health crisis. He will be sworn in on Saturday.

He secured majority support, with the backing of 114 of parliament's 222 members, the palace said in a statement.

His predecessor Muhyiddin Yassin quit Monday following a turbulent 17 months in office after losing parliamentary support, as anger grew over his government's handling of a worsening coronavirus outbreak. 

The incoming leader is from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the lynchpin of a coalition that governed for six decades until losing power in 2018 amid the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB graft scandal.

UMNO had already regained a foothold in power as a partner in the last government, and Ismail Sabri's victory means they have now reclaimed the country's top job without elections.

The king has said the new prime minister will have to face a confidence vote in parliament to prove his majority soon after his appointment.

(With inputs from agencies)

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