Malaysian opposition MPs march to parliament, demand PM resign

Malaysian opposition MPs march to parliament, demand PM resign

Undertakers from Hock Thai Funeral prepare to cremate the body of a person who died from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), at a crematorium in Klang, Malaysia on Sunday. (Reuters photo)
Undertakers from Hock Thai Funeral prepare to cremate the body of a person who died from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), at a crematorium in Klang, Malaysia on Sunday. (Reuters photo)

Malaysian opposition lawmakers marched toward the parliament building in Kuala Lumpur to demand Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s resignation on Monday, after officials postponed the day’s sitting indefinitely to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the house.

With the main road cordoned off, opposition lawmakers began assembling by a field about a mile away before they walked to the building chanting “Step down, Muhyiddin” and “Muhyiddin is a coward”. Security was beefed up in the hours ahead of the gathering, with police in riot gear and increased roadblocks at the main entrances to the building.

“We are gathered here to say that, in terms of the numbers of MPs, Muhyiddin’s government has fallen today,” opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said. He said some parties had come up with a list requesting to leave the government line-up. “Hence, with the 107 here today, plus them, the government has collapsed.” Anwar later called for the gathering to disperse after police blocked them from entering the building.

Malaysia’s parliament sat for the first time this year last week, but was suspended again shortly after the king on Thursday publicly rebuked a government minister for misleading the house on the status of emergency laws. Health-Director General on Sunday said the building was at high-risk of a spread in infections after the discovery of positive cases last week.

The opposition, which has filed a motion of no-confidence against Muhyiddin, said the Covid risk is an “excuse” to adjourn Monday’s sitting. Health groups have said parliament can still function if virus protocols are followed.

The five-day session that was initially scheduled to end today was meant to provide lawmakers a chance to grill Muhyiddin over his government’s handling of the pandemic. Public anger against him has risen as new Covid cases have more than tripled to a record since the emergency was imposed in January.

Hundreds of protesters, largely dressed in black, gathered in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Saturday calling for the resignation of Muhyiddin, a full parliamentary session and an automatic loan moratorium for all.

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