Malaysia’s ruling coalition stumbles as key ally quits political pact
The biggest party in Malaysia’s ruling coalition on Thursday said it will withdraw from a political alliance with the prime minister but will continue to support the government, potentially undermining the stability of his administration.
The move by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party comes two days after former premier Najib Razak, a party leader, was sentenced to 12 years in jail for corruption in a case linked to the multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
UMNO makes up the largest bloc of lawmakers in Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s coalition and its support is crucial for the survival of the government, which has a two-seat majority in parliament, reports Reuters.
UMNO joined with Muhyiddin’s Bersatu party and other political parties five months ago under the Perikatan Nasional banner to form the government after the shock resignation of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
While quitting the Perikatan Nasional, UMNO said its lawmakers would continue to support the government and the prime minister.
“UMNO has made the decision to not be part of Perikatan Nasional,” UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told a news conference.