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Malaysia in transition

Malaysian king wades into politics again in break with norms

Sultan Abdullah seeks to ease impasse over 2021 budget addressing pandemic

SINGAPORE -- Malaysia's king, Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin, has stepped up intervention in political matters in a departure from tradition, most recently calling on lawmakers to pass the 2021 budget to aid the coronavirus-hit economy and people.

Malaysian kings normally stay out of day-to-day politics, and his actions have raised questions over whether he is overstepping his constitutional authority. But others say he has no choice, with the growing feud between the ruling and opposition coalitions bringing the government to a standstill.

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