Scandal-plagued party reclaims Malaysian leadership

Former deputy prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob appointed as Malaysia's new prime minister with a scandal-plagued party, reclaiming the leadership lost in 2018

Agence France-Presse
August 20, 2021
Scandal-plagued party reclaims Malaysian leadership
Ismail Sabri Yaakob at a parliament session in Kuala Lumpur, photo released on November 2, 2020. Photo: Famer Roheni/Malaysia's Department of Information/AFP

An establishment stalwart was named Malaysia’s new prime minister Friday after the previous government collapsed, the national palace said, with a scandal-plagued party reclaiming the leadership that it lost at elections in 2018.

Ismail Sabri Yaakob received the backing of a majority of lawmakers, and “in accordance with the constitution”, the king appointed him as the prime minister, the palace said in a statement. 

He will be sworn in on Saturday, it said. 

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.

© Agence France-Presse

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