The prime minister of Malaysia and his cabinet resigned Monday after months of political turmoil resulted in his loss of a majority to govern, according to the Associated Press.
Muhyiddin Yassir’s resignation comes fewer than 18 months after taking office, making his term the shortest in the country’s history, the AP reported. The prime minister apologized for his political shortcomings but blamed those “hungry for power” for his departure.
“I have tendered my resignation as prime minister and also for the entire Cabinet … because I have lost the majority to support of lower house members,” Yassir said in a television broadcast.
“I take this opportunity to seek forgiveness … for all my mistakes and weaknesses during my tenure as prime minister. I and my Cabinet colleagues have tried our best to save and protect lives … in this period of crisis. However, as human being, we are bound to make mistakes so I apologize,” Yassir said, according to the AP.
Yassir said his initial plan was to remain in power until the country completed its vaccination plan, and to see the economy fully recover.
King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah accepted the prime minister’s resignation, and Yassir will now serve as interim prime minister until a new leader is appointed, according to the AP.
The king will appoint a new leader rather than immediately hold an election as many parts of the country are experiencing spikes in COVID-19 cases. The prime minister’s resignation comes amid public disapproval of his handling of the pandemic, the AP reported.
Malaysia saw 274 daily deaths on Monday, as roughly one-third of the nation is fully vaccinated.
The country has been in a state of emergency for seven months and a full lockdown since June, the AP reported.
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