asia

Key players in Malaysia's political storm


Tan Sri Muhyiddin succeeded Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as premier in March last year. Both men were from the same Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, which was part of the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition. Mr Muhyiddin and a good number of his party colleagues defected from the PH coalition, leading eventually to the collapse of that government. A new coalition, the Perikatan Nasional (PN), then took the reins of power in Putrajaya. But it rules with a slim majority, often under pressure from Umno, the biggest party in PN.

In January, Mr Muhyiddin sought emergency powers to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The Malaysian King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, assented, resulting in the suspension of Parliament for seven months. The move also prevented a no-confidence vote from being tabled against the Premier in Parliament.

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