The prime minister of Malaysia and his entire cabinet have submitted their resignations to the king, a statement from the palace reports.
While the country is in the midst of its worst COVID outbreak, and is dealing with economic devastation that resulted from several rounds of lockdowns, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet have resigned.
Yassin is not the first prime minister to resign in the past two years. Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed resigned unexpectedly in February 2020, giving Yassin the opportunity to form a government by uniting a fragile coalition.
The palace’s statement indicated that Yassin will be staying on as a “caretaker” in his position until a new leader is appointed, as the king thinks that an election is “not the best option” at the moment due to the pandemic.
Even before the prime minister and the cabinet resigned, local media had been reporting rumors of his impending resignation, claiming that Yassin’s decision to quit would be based on the fact that he had lost majority support in parliament due to infighting within his political coalition.
The prime minister confirmed this in a televised address, citing lack of support in parliament, and noting that he will not work with “kleptocrats” or interfere with the country’s judiciary process in order to remain in power.
Yassin also stated that he hopes a new government can be formed soon to help ensure that Malaysia’s economy recovers and its vaccine rollout continues smoothly.
His cabinet had already ordered more than 87 million COVID shots, which he believes should be “enough” to vaccinate the country’s population by the end of October.
According to reporting from CNBC:
“Malaysia’s daily new Covid cases per million people is one of the highest globally, according to data compiled by online repository Our World in Data.
On a seven-day moving average basis, the Southeast Asian country recorded 620.14 confirmed Covid cases per million people on Saturday — the sixth highest globally and the top in Asia, the data showed.
But authorities have accelerated the pace of vaccinations in recent weeks despite the political tussle. Nearly one-third of Malaysia’s 32 million people has completed their vaccinations as of Sunday, official data showed…
The health ministry projected that daily infections would remain high and reach a peak in mid-September, before falling to around 1,000 cases per day in October.”