Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the dissolution of parliament on Friday, more than two months before the end of his five-year term, paving the way for a general election.
Najib has been burdened by a multi-billion dollar scandal linked to a state fund and is under pressure to deliver an emphatic win for his ruling coalition as he struggles to appease voters unhappy with rising living costs and an unprecedented challenge by his former mentor, Mahathir Mohamad.
Najib said he met King Sultan Muhammad V to gain approval for the dissolution.
"The king has recommended for parliament to be dissolved effective Saturday, April 7," Najib said in a special announcement.
Polling day must be held within 60 days from the dissolution of parliament. The Election Commission is expected to meet within the week to announce a date for the vote.