Malaysian PM unseats house speaker

Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has succeeded in having the lower house speaker removed.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has succeeded in having the lower house speaker removed.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has cleared a major hurdle in parliament, with lawmakers narrowly approving a motion to remove the lower house speaker, in a vote seen as an important barometer of his support.

While not officially a confidence vote, Monday's outcome was the first real measure of how much legislative backing Muhyiddin could muster to push through policies and government business.

A total of 111 lawmakers supported Muhyiddin's bid to remove Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, who was appointed by the previous administration led by Mahathir Mohamad, while 109 voted against the move.

Southeast Asia's third-largest economy has been grappling with political and policy uncertainty since Muhyiddin - part of Mahathir's administration - had been unexpectedly made prime minister in March after forging an alliance with the graft-tainted UMNO party had been defeated in a 2018 election.

Australian Associated Press