Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin confirmed that he has resigned as the country's Prime Minister
In a press conference today, 16 August, Muhyiddin said he has tendered his resignation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after he had an audience with the Agong this afternoon, which lasted 40 minutes.
"During my session (with His Majesty), I have submitted my resignation letter as the Prime Minister as well as (the resignations letters of) all the Cabinet members in accordance to Article 43(4) of the Federal Constitution because I ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat," he said.
"This means that everyone in the Cabinet and I have resigned."
With that said, he added the upcoming Parliament sitting no longer needs to table a motion of confidence against him
Muhyiddin added that he had done all he could to save the government of the day so that it could continue to manage the pandemic and prioritise recovery.
However, with 15 UMNO members of Parliament (MP) withdrawing their support for him, he said there was nothing more he could do but resign.
He said he was bombarded with political threats while he was leading the country that was undergoing unprecedented health and economic crisis.
He stressed that he will never conspire with kleptocratic groups, interfere with the independence of the judiciary, and turn his back on the Federal Constitution just to stay in power, citing that he was once fired as the deputy prime minister because he stuck to his principles to speak out on the 1MDB case.
"I could have taken the easy way out at the expense of my principles to remain Prime Minister. But that's not my choice," he said.
Before he ended his speech, he asked for forgiveness for his mistakes and shortcomings and hoped that the new government can serve the people by continuing the initiatives that have been in place.
Muhyiddin was Malaysia's eighth Prime Minister for a total of 18 months since 1 March 2020, following the events of what has been dubbed the 'Sheraton Move'.
Earlier this month, Muhyiddin insisted that he still possessed the majority support in the lower house of the Parliament even though several UMNO members had withdrawn their support for him
On 4 August, he said he would put his legitimacy to the test when the Parliament reconvenes in September.
Then Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said that a motion of confidence against Muhyiddin would be tabled in the Dawan Rakyat on 7 September.
However, before that could happen, Muhyiddin had on 13 August admitted that he had lost the support of the majority before resorting to seek bipartisan support for the government.
He urged the Opposition to lend him their support so that his administration could receive two-thirds support. He promised to use the strong support to perform constitutional reforms, such as limiting the Prime Minister's tenure, bolstering checks and balances, introducing an anti-party hopping law, and offering a Senior Minister role to the Opposition leader in return for their support.
The Opposition rejected the offer, calling it open bribery and demanding Muhyiddin resign, reported Reuters.
After he had exhausted all avenues, rumours emerged last Friday that he would tender his resignation to the Agong.
The rumours were confirmed by Bersatu supreme council member Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Pejuang deputy president Marzuki Yahya revealed yesterday that Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob reached out to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to seek the latter's support for him to be the next premier
In response to the request, Marzuki said Mahathir told Ismail that efforts should be focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic rather than jostling for positions, reported Malay Mail.
The same response was also given to DAP's Anthony Loke and Amanah's Mohamad Sabu when the two came to ask Mahathir to support Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be the next premier.
Meanwhile, MIC president S Vigneswaran urged UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to throw his support behind Ismail as the latter is a UMNO member, reported Malaysiakini.
Zahid, however, seems to favour a candidate from his own faction, which is yet to be known.
Currently, UMNO is separated into two fractions. One of them is led by Zahid, a group of 14 UMNO members who withdrew their support for Muhyiddin on 4 August.
The other faction is made out of 23 supporters aligned with Ismail, who continued to back Muhyiddin as the premier.
Malaysiakini reported today that even with 23 MPs' support from Ismail's fraction in UMNO, Muhyiddin had support from 100 MPs — 11 seats short of a simple majority.
AP, quoting an expert on politics from the University of Nottingham Malaysia, reported that Anwar's three-party coalition — Pakatan Harapan (PH) — only has 90 MPs.
A Prime Minister candidate needs to possess support from 111 MPs to form a simple majority out of 222 seats. Two of the seats in the Parliament are currently vacant.