Malaysia’s king appointed Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the prime minister on Friday, returning the job to a party tainted by graft accusations as the southeast Asian nation grapples with a COVID-19 surge and an economic slump. Ismail Sabri replaces Muhyiddin Yassin, who stepped down on Monday after coalition infighting cost him his majority, Ismail Sabri is to be sworn in on Saturday, the palace said.
Malaysia’s Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down as prime minister on Monday after months of political turmoil culminated in the loss of his majority, but his resignation is likely to open another chapter of instability in the absence of any obvious successor. Muhyiddin’s resignation ends a tumultuous 17 months in office, the shortest stint of a Malaysian leader, but hampers efforts to reboot a pandemic-stricken economy.
Goldman Sachs’ chief executive David Solomon will get a $10m pay cut for the bank’s involvement in the 1MDB corruption scandal. 1MDB was an investment fund set up by the Malaysian government that lost billions due to fraudulent activity. Goldman Sachs helped raise $6.5bn for 1MDB by selling bonds to investors, the proceeds of which were largely stolen.
Malaysian authorities released a report on the disappearance of flight MH370 on Monday. The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared in 2014 while carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The report failed to determine a cause but confirmed that someone was in control and ‘the change in flight path probably resulted from manual inputs.’
Police entered the home and four other connected locations of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday night for reasons that are not yet clear. Najib, whose government was riddled with corruption, was defeated last week in elections by Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir pledged to hold Najib accountable for his corruption.
The international investment bank Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $2.9 billion and admit wrongdoing for its involvement in the plundering of an economic development fund meant to benefit Malaysia, under the terms of a settlement announced Thursday by the U.S. Justice Department. Instead of helping develop Malaysia’s economy, the fund’s overseers embezzled roughly $4 billion. The scandal also brought down the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2018.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has announced his resignation, paving the way for a possible formation of a new government. In a new development, Mahathir has also reportedly resigned from his own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. Mahathir’s decision follows a weekend of political wrangling, after it was reported on Sunday night that his party was planning to form a new government that would exclude his anointed successor, Anwar Ibrahim.
Malaysia’s king, who is known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, has abdicated in an unprecedented move, with his successor set to be elected in January. Sultan Muhammad V is stepping down immediately as the 15th King of Malaysia after serving since Dec. 13, 2016, according to a statement from the palace on Sunday which gave no reason for the abdication. Malaysia’s nine Malay state rulers elect the king among themselves through a rotational monarchy, with each term lasting for five years.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was charged with six counts of criminal breach of trust involving government funds of more than $1.5 billion on Thursday adding to the 32 counts for money laundering and graft. Razak’s former treasury chief was also charged with breach of trust. Both pleaded guilty to all charges.
A Russian couple has been arrested in Kuala Lumpur for child endangerment after video clips were shared online showing a man swinging an infant around as part of a street performance, according to state media Bernama. Members of the public had alerted the authorities to the suspected child abuse. Video of the initial performance shows a man holding the diaper-clad four-month-old infant by its legs, swinging the child through his legs and above his head, while other tourists sit nearby, chanting and playing instruments.