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CFR: Malaysia’s New Prime Minister and the Future of Chinese Investment

Tue December, 2021, Age: 2 years

On August 20, 2021, Ismail Sabri Yaakob became the new prime minister of Malaysia, capping two years of political crises. Malaysia’s king selected Ismail following the resignation of previous Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin due to his mishandling of the country’s COVID-19 response. Muhyiddin himself assumed office after his predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, resigned in March 2020 due to party infighting. As a returning candidate in the 2018 election, Mahathir led an opposition coalition to power for the first time in Malaysian history, beating incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak. Every prime minister before 2018 belonged to the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) political party, meaning that Ismail’s ascension marks UMNO’s return to power.