Today: Thursday, 25 April 2024 year

Malaysia hails ‘Malay first’ PM

Malaysia hails ‘Malay first’ PM

A week of political turmoil in Malaysia has ended with the picking of the new prime minister. Muhyiddin Yassin is known as a publicity-shy picture of conservatism, Reuters reports.

The 72-yer-old Muhyiddin Yassin was picked by the Malaysian king to lead the Cabinet following the resignation of 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad. The era of the outspoken Mahathir who has dominated Malaysian politics for decades is over.

On Saturday, the royal palace announced that Muhyiddin had the confidence of Parliament and would be sworn in as prime minister on Sunday. The announcement sparked anger among some Malaysians who felt their democratic rights as voters were being undermined. 

When Muhyiddin Yassin heard the news, he immediately dropped to the carpet in tears to give thanks to Allah, one person who has worked with him for years and did not want to be identified said. The new Malaysian PM is not a camera-hunting, publicity-stunt type of man. He prefers to keep a low-key profile and welcomes the same behaviour from his team.

A conservative Muslim from the majority Malay community, Muhyiddin staked his claim to the premiership when Mahathir failed to rally support for a unity government after his shock resignation as prime minister last Monday.

“Muhyiddin is willing to accept anything. He says politics is more important than principles,” 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad said this week.

One person who knows well the new Malaysian prime minister said it was now his time to shine after long playing second fiddle. After Muhyiddin was sworn in on Sunday, his office said he would not be speaking to media that day.