Muhyiddin becomes Malaysia’s shortest-serving prime minister amid persistent squabbling within his coalition.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet have resigned after just 17 months in power amid infighting within his coalition and a resurgent wave of COVID-19.
Muhyiddin held a last cabinet meeting on Monday morning before going to the palace to tender his resignation to the king.
Khairy Jamaluddin, the science minister who led the government’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, confirmed the government was stepping down on Instagram.
“That’s all for now,” he wrote in an Instagram story updating the pace of the programme.
“The Cabinet has tendered our resignation to the Agong (king). Thank you for the opportunity to, once again, serve the nation. May God bless Malaysia.”
Muhyiddin spent about half an hour at the palace and did not speak to reporters afterwards.
The 74-year-old has been under almost constant pressure since he came to power in March 2020 as head of a new Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition after a power grab within the previous government. His resignation followed months of infighting within PN against a backdrop of increasing public anger over the political squabbling at a time when COVID-19 was surging.
Some 12,510 people have now died from the disease in Malaysia as overloaded government hospitals struggle to cope with the influx of patients.
On Sunday, Malaysia recorded 20,546 cases on Sunday, its fourth successive day of more than 20,000 cases.
Muhyiddin last week admitted he had lost his majority and offered the opposition a host of institutional reforms if they worked with him. On Sunday, he met members of his Bersatu party and told them he planned to resign. It is not clear who might yet take his place.