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Malaysia in transition

Malaysia parliament speaker switch lifts Muhyiddin's survival odds

PM uses 'razor thin' majority to head off Mahathir's no-confidence motion

Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin observes parliamentary proceedings on July 13.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's lower house of parliament has a new speaker -- a sudden change that could help to strengthen Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's grip on power for the next three years.

The vote on the appointment of former Election Commission Chairman Azhar Azizan as speaker on Monday showed Muhyiddin enjoys the support of only a narrow majority in the house. But the move could ensure that a no-confidence motion against the premier filed by his predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, never sees the light of day.

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