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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's King Al-Sultan Abdullah rejected on Sunday a request by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for him to declare a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus crisis, saying that he did not see the need.

The move is a blow for Muhyiddin, who is facing a leadership challenge from opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and infighting within his ruling coalition.

Anwar and other critics have denounced Muhyiddin's proposal for emergency rule, which included the suspension of parliament, as an attempt by the premier to stay in power by avoiding a showdown in parliament over the support he commands.

The palace said Muhyiddin made the request for emergency rule to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but that the government has been handling the crisis well. Malaysia is seeing a resurgence in virus infections and on Saturday reported its biggest daily jump in cases with 1,228 new cases.