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Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Source: Reuters
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  • Malaysian lawmakers will soon submit a letter to the palace naming their choice of prime minister
  • After 17 months in office, Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down as PM on Monday in light of a lack of parliamentary support
  • But, King Al-Suntan Abdullah ruled elections are too dangerous given the country’s COVID-19 situation and asked Mr Muhyidden to stay on as caretaker
  • Malaysia recorded more than 20,000 new cases of the virus on Monday and close to 300 deaths
  • Malaysian lawmakers have been given until Wednesday to make a decision on their choice of leader

Malaysian lawmakers are being pressured to submit a letter to the palace naming their choice of prime minister.

After 17 months in office, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down on Monday, conceding he no longer had the parliamentary support necessary to win a confidence vote.

Mr Muhyiddin was appointed to the role in March 2020 by the King after he consulted all 222 members of parliament on the best replacement for resigning PM Mahathir Mohamad.

This time around, King Al-Suntan Abdullah has similarly asked Muhyidden to continue as caretaker PM. He also ruled out elections given the COVID-19 situation in the country.

Malaysia has been experiencing its worst-ever spike in infections, one of the sources of the outgoing prime minister’s eroding political support. On Monday, Malaysia recorded 20,546 new cases of the virus and 282 deaths.

More than 1.4 million people in the country have tested positive for the virus, and more than 12,500 people have lost their lives.

How did markets respond?

Most Asian markets tipped into the red on Tuesday as concerns relating to regional security rose, following the fall of the land-locked nation Afghanistan.

In Malaysia, investors seemed unperturbed by the uncertainty of who would assume the role of prime minister.

On Tuesday, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index rebounded from Monday’s dip and was up 1.09 per cent at 1519.22 at 2:32 pm CTT / 6:02 pm AEST.

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