It was a tumultuous year for Malaysia. As the country was experiencing the onset of the first wave of COVID-19 in late February 2020, the majority coalition, the Alliance of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) that formed the federal government at the time broke apart due to defections, symbolized by the so-called Sheraton Move. A new government led by the National Alliance (Perikatan Nasional, PN) coalition came into power after the king appointed its leader, Muhyiddin Yassin, prime minister, replacing Mahathir Mohamad. The PN government immediately faced two severe challenges: the global pandemic threat and the crisis of legitimacy due to weak coalition building. This article mainly focuses on the second challenge, namely the ways the PN government has been able to avoid a parliamentary vote of no confidence and keep its coalition intact, albeit precariously.

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