Aug. 16 (UPI) — Following months of political instability, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced his resignation during a televised address to the nation on Monday after convening with top government officials.
Yassin offered his resignation to Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah and will remain the country’s interim premier until a new prime minister is elected, royal officials said. But elections will not take place in the midst of a worsening COVID-19 situation in the country.
Yassin’s decision follows months of political instability caused by a loss of support for the Perikatan Nasional government by several members of parliament.
“I could’ve taken the easy way out by sacrificing my principles to stay on as prime minister. But that is not my choice,” Yassin said during the televised address, according to The Star. “I will never be in cahoots with the kleptocrat group.”
Yassin was sworn in as prime minister 18 months ago after serving in a number of other government roles since the mid-1990s. Yassin said in his televised address that his resignation was God’s will. He also said he hopes Malaysia’s coronavirus recovery plan is not delayed by the move and that economic sectors reopen.
Malaysia’s goal to reach herd immunity by October won’t be disrupted by his decision if the next government keeps up momentum, he added.
To date, Malaysia has seen nearly 1.5 million cases and 13,000 deaths. There were close to 20,000 new cases on Monday alone.