Asian Insider

Malaysian King's consent to delay by-election puts Muhyiddin on safe ground - for now

Move signals national polls won't happen until pandemic is subdued, but friction in ruling coalition set to persist after upcoming budget vote

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (left) with King Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah on Wednesday. Sultan Abdullah has advised all lawmakers to approve in an upcoming vote next year's budget in the interests of Malaysia.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (left) with King Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah on Wednesday. Sultan Abdullah has advised all lawmakers to approve in an upcoming vote next year's budget in the interests of Malaysia.PHOTO: ISTANA NEGARA, MALAYSIA.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his slim-majority government are back on safe ground for now, after Malaysia's King on Wednesday consented to an emergency declaration that effectively postponed a by-election, amid the country's worst wave of coronavirus infections.

Analysts and political insiders see the King's agreement to delay the Dec 5 vote for the little-known coastal town of Batu Sapi in eastern-most Malaysia as a clear signal from Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah that snap national polls will not happen until the pandemic is subdued.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2020, with the headline 'Asian Insider Malaysian King's consent to delay by-election puts Muhyiddin on safe ground - for now'. Print Edition | Subscribe