Muhyiddin Yassin officially confirmed his resignation as prime minister this afternoon, during a televised address to the nation.
He spoke to Malaysians after chairing his final cabinet meeting as prime minister this morning, followed by an audience with the King. In his emotional speech, the man who led the Perikatan Nasional government publicly declared that he had lost the support of most of the parliamentarians as required by the constitution to remain as prime minister.
“Therefore, it is clear that I have lost confidence,” he said. A total of 15 Members of Parliament from the UMNO political party withdrew support for him.
Muhyiddin spoke to Malaysians just hours after Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced on Instagram that the Malaysian cabinet had tendered its resignation. The 74-year-old, who managed to lead Malaysia for only a year-and-a-half, said that he failed to gain bipartisan cooperation from the opposition, who he said had rejected his offers. He also claimed that he had been under pressure to intervene in ongoing court cases of high-profile individuals he did not name.
“I heard the pleas from millions of Malaysians, asking me not to resign. I did everything I could until the final moment to save this government, at least until we have finished dealing with COVID-19 and the vaccination program,” he said.
He later added: “I hope the new government which takes over the administration of this country will take good care of all of you. Because it is the only thing I care about, and I care for you all the time, always.”
Muhyiddin assured Malaysians that his cabinet had ordered enough vaccines for everyone.
“To all my fellow Malaysians, you don’t have to worry. My cabinet has ordered more than enough vaccines for all of you. If the vaccination program goes well, all of you will be vaccinated by the end of October,” he said. He also thanked everyone he worked with, even naming the various political parties, as well as his family for their support.
“Thank you also to the leadership of Bersatu, the top leadership of Perikatan Nasional from PAS, STAR, SAPP and Gerakan, the leadership of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak, the leadership of MCA and MIC as well as some UMNO MPs who continued to support me until the last minute,” he said. “To all Malaysians, I thank you for your support. I will continue to be devoted to you and always pray for your health and wellbeing.”
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This article, Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin gives sombre final address, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.