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Malaysia in transition

Malaysia's COVID budget approved in critical vote for Muhyiddin

Embattled PM gets reprieve as lawmakers heed king's call for cooperation

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, center, arrives for the lower house budget deliberations and vote on Nov. 26.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysian lawmakers have passed the government's budget, propelling Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin over a crucial hurdle for remaining in power.

The record 322.5 billion ringgit ($78.8 billion) budget for 2021 was approved on Thursday in a voice vote. For weeks, the vote has been anticipated as a test of Muhyiddin's disputed legitimacy. The result comes as a relief to the prime minister but also means underlying political tensions are likely to drag on, keeping the nation on edge.

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