KUALA LUMPUR: Mr Muhyiddin Yassin will be Malaysia’s next prime minister, the palace said, following a week of power struggle in Putrajaya.
Comptroller of the Royal Family and Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, in a statement on Saturday (Feb 29), said the king, after meeting all members of parliament, has found that the parliamentarian who likely commands the majority is Mr Muhyiddin, the Pagoh Member of Parliament (MP).
“Therefore, the king has selected Muhyiddin as the prime minister in line with Article 40(2)(a) and 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution,” he said.
Swearing-in will be held on Sunday at 10.30am at Istana Negara, Mr Ahmad Fadil said.
“(Malaysian King Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah) said the appointment of the prime minister cannot be delayed for the well-being of the people and the nation.
“He believes this is the best decision for everyone and hopes this puts an end to the political crisis at the moment,” Mr Ahmad added.
Speaking to reporters outside his residence after the announcement, Mr Muhyiddin said: "I would like to express my thanks, thanks to Allah, that I have been given the appointment of the 8th prime minister, with the permission of Maha Mulia Yang Di Pertuan Agong."
"I would like to thank everyone who have given their moral support to me ... I hope all Malaysians will accept the decision that has been announced today."
He added: "Please pray for a brighter future for us all. Thank you."
Dr Mahathir Mohamad's shock resignation on Monday had plunged Putrajaya into political turmoil. The king accepted his resignation and appointed him the interim prime minister.
On Saturday morning, political leaders took turns to meet the monarch to present their preferred prime minister candidate, after he said he could not identify any parliamentarian who commands the majority following a two-day consultation with all MPs.
READ: Pakatan Harapan declares 'full support' for Mahathir, who says he has the numbers to be Malaysian PM
Mr Muhyiddin, who pulled Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) out of Pakatan Harapan (PH), had partnered with Barisan Nasional, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia and others in a bid to form a new government.
PH had initially said on Wednesday said it would nominate Mr Anwar Ibrahim, after Dr Mahathir put forth a proposal to form a unity government that cuts across party lines.
In a twist of events, PH announced on Saturday that it would back Dr Mahathir to be prime minister again. Dr Mahathir, too, said he had the numbers to form the government.
Mr Anwar said on his Facebook that he had informed the king that PH had changed its stance and would nominate Dr Mahathir as PH’s candidate for prime minister.
“I am touched by the support given to me, but I choose to put the country’s interests before my own,” he said.