Malaysian parliament dissolved ahead of snap polls: PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s prime minister announced the dissolution of parliament on Monday, allowing snap elections to be held to bring political stability as the country emerges from Covid-19 and 1MDB corruption scandal.
“Yesterday I met the king … and I asked his permission to dissolve parliament. And the king agreed to my request to dissolve parliament today,” Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a televised address to the nation.
“I hope the people will use their votes wisely to vote for stability, economic growth and harmony in the country,” he said, referring to the predominantly Southeast Asian nation. Muslim but multiracial.
He made the announcement a day after meeting the king, Sultan Abdullahwho agreed.
No date has been set for an election, but constitutional polls must be held within 60 days after parliament dissolves.
The dissolution comes days after the government announced a populist budget that included several billion dollars’ worth of cash handouts and individual income tax cuts.
New polls run until next September but Ismail has faced intense pressure from within his United Malays National Organization (UMNO) party to dissolve parliament and secure a strong mandate in the early elections.
Malaysia has been plunged into political turmoil since the last national elections in 2018 when a reformist pact led by former leader Mahathir Mohamad completely defeated the UMNO-led coalition. , the main party has ruled the country for more than 60 years.
Then, incumbent Najib Razak, embroiled in a scandal in which billions of dollars were allegedly robbed from the sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, was ousted from the position of prime minister.
He was later found guilty of corruption after a lengthy trial and began serving a 12-year prison sentence in August for the original series of charges.
However, hopes of stability after Najib’s ouster quickly faded when Mahathir’s government collapsed after 22 months due to intense infighting.
He was succeeded by his former right-hand man Muhyiddin Yassin, but growing public anger over his handling of the pandemic led to his resignation less than two years after he took office, and Ismail was appointed as the new leader of Malaysia.


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