Malaysia’s new PM sworn in amid crisis, Mahathir fights on

Malaysia’s new PM sworn in amid crisis, Mahathir fights on

Kuala Lumpur (Agencies): Malaysia’s former interior minister on Sunday sworn in as country’s new premier amid deepening crisis that hit the Southeast Asian nation last week when Mahathir Mohammad tendered his resignation.

Muhyiddin Yassin took the oath of office at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur.

Mahathir — who was the world's oldest leader — initially quit as premier but then sought to return. He lost out however to little-known Muhyiddin Yassin, who heads a coalition dominated by the country's Muslim majority.

The king's decision on Saturday to pick Muhyiddin as premier was greeted with shock as Mahathir's allies claimed to have enough support, and sparked widespread anger that the democratically elected government had been ejected.

Just before Muhyiddin's inauguration, Mahathir accused him of betrayal and said he would seek a parliament vote challenging the new premier's support — signalling the political crisis is far from over.

"This is a very strange thing [...] losers will form the government, the winners will be in the opposition," he said.

"The rule of law no longer applies."

Muhyiddin's coalition includes the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the party of disgraced ex-leader Najib Razak, as well as a hardline group that wants tougher Islamic laws.