An establishment stalwart was named Malaysia’s new prime minister Friday after the previous government collapsed, the national palace said, with a scandal-plagued party reclaiming the leadership that it lost at elections in 2018.
Ismail Sabri Yaakob received the backing of a majority of lawmakers, and “in accordance with the constitution”, the king appointed him as the prime minister, the palace said in a statement.
He will be sworn in on Saturday, it said.
His predecessor Muhyiddin Yassin quit Monday following a turbulent 17 months in office after losing parliamentary support, as anger grew over his government’s handling of a worsening coronavirus outbreak.
The incoming leader is from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the lynchpin of a coalition that governed for six decades until losing power in 2018 amid the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB graft scandal.
UMNO had already regained a foothold in power as a partner in the last government, and Ismail Sabri’s victory means they have now reclaimed the country’s top job without elections.