Malaysia PM dissolves parliament

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Malaysia’s prime minister announced the dissolution of parliament Monday, allowing for snap elections aimed at bringing political stability as the country emerges from Covid-19 and the 1MDB corruption scandal.

“Yesterday I met the king… and I sought his permission to dissolve the parliament. And the king agreed to my request to dissolve parliament today,” Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a televised address to the nation.

“I hope the people will use their votes wisely to vote for stability, economic growth and harmony in the country,” he said, referring to the mainly Muslim but multi-racial Southeast Asian nation.

He made the announcement a day after an audience with the king, Sultan Abdullah, who gave his consent.

No date has been given for an election, but under the constitution polls must be held within 60 days following the dissolution of parliament.

The dissolution came days after the government unveiled a populist budget that included a few billion dollars worth of cash handouts and a cut in personal income taxes.

Polls were not due until September next year but Ismail faced intense pressure from within his United Malays National Organisation party to dissolve parliament and secure a strong mandate in early elections.

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