Muhyiddin not holding political meetings on first day of work as Malaysia's PM

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin posing for pictures on his first day at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya on March 2, 2020. PHOTO: AFP
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin waving at the media as he begins his official role as Prime Minister. PHOTO: BERNAMA
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin signs a document during the swearing-in ceremony as Malaysia's prime minister in Kuala Lumpur on March 1, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has not scheduled any political meetings or discussions on his first day at work as Malaysia's Prime Minister on Monday (March 2) , his office said.

The Prime Minister's Office said PM Muhyiddin's schedule was filled with meetings with heads of departments and agencies.

"The Prime Minister is also meeting with the Chief Secretary to the Government to coordinate the government administration," it said in a statement on Monday.

He also visited his parent's graves at his hometown in Muar, Johor.

He is scheduled to meet Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador at 4.30pm, followed by Armed Forces Chief General Tan Sri Affendi Buang an hour later.

Mr Muhyiddin had clocked in at the office of the Prime Minister at 7.55am, a day after being sworn in as Malaysia's eighth premier.

On hand to welcome the new Prime Minister was Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali.

Mr Muhyiddin, 72, was sworn in as Prime Minister before Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Sunday.

The King appointed Mr Muhyiddin, who is Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president as the new Prime Minister in accordance with Articles 40(2)(a) and 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution.

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His appointment ends the week-long political impasse that saw the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government after barely two years in power.

Malaysia was hit by a political storm which saw Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigning as prime minister and Bersatu pulling out of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition on Feb 24.

Dr Mahathir, 94, on Sunday insisted that he still had the backing of the majority of lawmakers in the 222-strong Parliament.

"The King has made the decision not to see me any more, but to appoint Tan Sri Muhyiddin. So I did not have the chance to tell the King that he does not have the majority. I cannot communicate with the palace," he told reporters.

He lamented that "this is a very strange thing... The losers (of the last election) will form the government, the winners will be in the opposition".

He was referring to Mr Muhyiddin's supporters from former opposition parties Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia, which were defeated by PH in the last general election in May 2018.

Mr Muhyiddin is also backed by most of the MPs from Bersatu - Dr Mahathir's party - as well as those from Gabungan Parti Sarawak, which controls the eastern state.

Dr Mahathir said he would request an urgent session of Parliament - which is supposed to reconvene on March 9 - to test if Mr Muhyiddin commands the majority.

"Let MPs decide whether they support or not. That will be the official decision," he added.

PH claims it has the support of 112 MPs, which is the minimum required to form a government.

Meanwhile Parliament Speaker Mohamad Ariff Mohamad Yusof said on Sunday that the parliamentary assembly sitting slated for March 9 may be postponed.

"(The session will) probably not (start on March 9). I will be officially communicating with the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) tomorrow," he was quoted as saying by Malay-language daily Berita Harian.

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