Malaysia’s new prime minister delays parliament session by two months

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Malaysia’s new prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has postponed the start of parliamentary proceedings by two months, the speaker said on Wednesday, amid opposition efforts to challenge his government with a confidence vote. Muhyiddin was sworn in on Sunday after a week of political turmoil triggered by the abrupt resignation of 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad. King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah appointed Muhyiddin as the prime minister, saying he believed Muhyiddin possibly had the support of a majority in parliament. But Mahathir’s coalition has said they have the majority and vowed to bring a confidence vote in parliament when it reconvened on March 9. Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md. Yusof said in a statement that he has received a letter from Muhyiddin stating the session will instead start on May 18. Muhyiddin, a former interior minister in Mahathir’s cabinet, joined hands with the UMNO party – which lost federal power in the 2018 election – and Islamist party PAS to form a new coalition. His move came after the resignation of Mahathir, who then tried out to form a national unity government that would have given him greater powers but got little support from politicians.