Malaysia: New premier in charge of all govt departments

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) – The new prime minister of Malaysia is in charge of all ministries and departments of the federal government as a new Cabinet is yet to be formed.

According to a government notification, Muhyiddin Yassin, who took oath as the 8th prime minister of Malaysia on Sunday, will be in charge of all federal ministries and departments until the appointment of new Cabinet ministers, state-run Bernama news agency reported.

The new prime minister "shall be charged with the responsibility in respect of all departments of the federal government and the subjects for which the departments are responsible until the appointment of other ministers in the Cabinet,” said the notification published in the official gazette.

It was after intense political maneuvering that Muhyiddin was chosen as next prime minister by the country’s King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

The power struggle had resulted in Mahathir Mohamad's dramatic resignation, and brief appointment as interim premier.

Yesterday, the new government decided to postpone a fresh session of the country’s 222-seat parliament by two months, triggering criticism as several parties want the government to prove majority.

Parliament Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md. Yusof said he received a letter from the new premier to begin the new session on May 18.

Muhyiddin was interior minister in the previous Cabinet under Mahathir’s premiership.

However, last month he broke away from Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition and aligned with opposition parties, including the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

The UMNO is Malaysia’s largest opposition party and part of the Barisan Nasional coalition that ruled the country for decades but was defeated by the PH coalition in the 2018 general elections.