The Malaysian King, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has ruled out a new general election and called for an end to political bickering at a meeting which was held on August 17. Elections are ruled out due to COVID-19 red zones and inadequate health facilities in many parts of the country.
The party leaders have begun the process of selecting a new Prime Minister amid a worsening coronavirus outbreak. After 18 months in office Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin resigned followed by the mounting public anger over what was widely perceived as his government’s poor handling of the pandemic. Malaysia is facing the world’s highest infection rates and deaths per capita. The daily cases breaching 20,000 this month despite seven months of emergency and lockdown.
The king has ruled out the election and Muhyiddin was appointed as the caretaker Prime Minister until a successor is found. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was summoned for a group meeting at the palace and told that the King “urged them to end their bickering”. All the lawmakers were asked to individually submit the name of a preferred candidate for Prime Minister by the King.