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Malaysia: Ex-Premier Najib Returns As Economic Adviser For PM Ismail

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After many years of scandal revealed on former PM Najib Razak, the latter has been offered a role advising the government on the economy. The new Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob needs to maintain his slim majority ahead of next week’s Parliament sitting.

Mr Ismail was sworn in on Aug 21 and presides over a government that commands just 114 members of the 222-seat Parliament, where two seats are vacant. If just four MPs refuse to vote in favour of a government motion in Parliament, Mr Ismail would face doubts over the legitimacy of his administration, which may have to operate as a minority government.

A CSA involves opposition MPs supporting the government in motions of confidence and appropriation or budget, by either voting in favour or abstaining.

The Premier’s initial efforts since taking office are widely seen as efforts to shore up support, given that his government is made up of the same parties and MPs who failed to hold together for more than 18 months in the Muhyiddin Yassin administration, the shortest-lived in Malaysian history.

Last Saturday, he appointed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, his predecessor, as chief of the Covid-19 National Recovery Council, a position that comes with ministerial privileges. Mr Muhyiddin heads the Perikatan Nasional coalition that supplies the government with nearly half its MPs.

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