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Malaysia Postpones No-Confidence Vote Against Prime Minister

In this photo released by Malaysia's Department of Information, the country's new Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin poses for pictures on his first day at the prime minister's office in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Monday, March 2, 2020. (Hafiz Itam/Malaysia…

A parliamentary no-confidence vote against Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will not take place next week as previously scheduled.

Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusoff accepted a motion filed last week by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad against his successor and scheduled it for a vote for Monday. However, the speaker said Wednesday that he received a letter from Muhyiddin saying that because the coronavirus pandemic has not eased, the only item on the agenda will be an opening address from the king.

The 94-year-old Mahathir stepped down suddenly in February after his ruling coalition collapsed. Muhyiddin, who served in Mahathir’s cabinet as home affairs minister, filled his government with several members of the United Malays National Organization, which had ruled Malaysia since its independence from Britain in 1957 until it was defeated by Mahathir’s coalition in 2018.

The party was driven from office by voters weary of corruption, especially a scandal involving former Prime Minister Najib Razak and the looting of state-owned investment bank 1MDB.