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Malaysia in transition

Ismail Sabri named Malaysia PM, putting scandal-hit party on top

New leader from UMNO to be sworn in on Saturday in reversal of 2018 election

Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been designated Malaysia's next prime minister, succeeding Muhyiddin Yassin.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's next prime minister will be Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the palace announced on Friday, putting a party hit by corruption scandals and ousted by voters back in the driver's seat.

The appointment of the 61-year-old Ismail Sabri marks the return of an administration led by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) -- a Malay-ethnic political party that lost to an opposition coalition led by Mahathir Mohamad in the 2018 election. Allegations of corruption, including the massive embezzlement scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), were a key factor in voters' decision to boot out UMNO after six decades of uninterrupted rule.

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