Malaysia’s King has picked Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister after meeting political leaders Saturday (Feb 29) morning.
The announcement comes even as interim premier Tun Mahathir Mohamad was cobbling together enough support to return Pakatan Harapan (PH) to power.
“After receiving representations from all party leaders and independent MPs, in the opinion of His Majesty, Pagoh MP Tan Sri Muhyiddin Bin Md Yassin (Muhyiddin) is likely to have the confidence of MPs,” royal comptroller Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a statement Saturday evening.
Mr Muhyiddin is set to be officially installed as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister on Sunday at 10.30am at the palace.
“The King decreed that the process to appoint a prime minister should not be delayed because the country needs a government for the prosperity of the people and the country we love,” the statement continued. “The King decreed this to be the best outcome for all and His Highness hopes this political crisis would end”.
The shocking announcement arrived just as interim prime minister Mahathir Mohamad looks set to clinch the support of 112 lawmakers – the figure needed to form government.
Mr Muhyiddin, president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), had joined hands with Umno and PAS to garner support for premiership. However, his decision to partner with Umno drew criticisms from Tun Dr Mahathir.
Mr Muhyiddin was also part of Umno and the Najib Razak government. He became one of the founding members of Bersatu after leaving Umno following a fallout with former premier Najib Razak over the 1MDB financial scandal.
Muhyiddin will return Umno to power
From within Bersatu itself, a split is apparent as contradictory statements were issued pledging support for Mr Muhyiddin and Dr Mahathir respectively on Saturday.
But with Mr Muhyiddin now in power, and a partnership with Umno and PAS sealed, a Malay government looks imminent with old characters from Umno back to the fore.
Mr Muhyiddin told reporters outside his home: “I only hope that all Malaysians welcome the decision that has been announced by the palace today.
“Thank you. Let us pray that we will succeed to bring a future Malaysia that is brighter, more glorious in the future.”