Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Resigns
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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Resigns

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad leaves Istana Negara February 24, 2020, /  Source: Firdaus Latif

Image Attribute: Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad leaves Istana Negara February 24, 2020, /  Source: Firdaus Latif

On February 24, 2020, Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad submitted a letter of resignation to the country’s king. Also, he resigned from the chairmanship of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, PPBM (Malaysian United Indigenous Party)

According to the sources, Dr. Mahathir quit as party chief in protest against PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin's decision to abandon the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition* and instead work with opposition party Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu (UMNO, United Malays National Organisation) in a new government.

On the other hand, there is another speculation running in parallel that 94-year-old Mahathir is attempting to form a new ruling coalition that would exclude his promised successor Anwar Ibrahim.

Dr. Mahathir is the world's oldest government leader, stepped down on Monday but was immediately named as interim prime minister by Malaysia's king — a role that carries all the authority of a permanent leader.

Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN) Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali in a statement said:

"His Majesty Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has consented to the appointment of Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad as interim Prime Minister while waiting for the appointment of a new Prime Minister as per the Article 43 (2) (a) of the Federal Constitution." 

In the three-paragraph statement, Mohd Zuki said, during the interim period, Dr. Mahathir would manage the country’s administration until the new Prime Minister is appointed and a new Cabinet is formed. As of now, there is no clarity on who will be the next Prime Minister or whether general elections will be held.

In the past, Dr. Mahathir has been prime minister of Malaysia twice. In his first stint, Dr. Mahathir was the prime minister under the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration for 22 years or five terms between July 16, 1981, to October 31, 2003, having first assumed the position when he was aged 56 and then stepping down aged 78.

After leading the PH coalition to victory in the 14th general elections on May 9, 2018, Dr. Mahathir at age 92 was sworn in the next day and took up the position of prime minister again, almost 15 years after his “retirement” from politics when he gave up the post.

* In 2018, Dr. Mahathir and his one-time foe turned ally Anwar Ibrahim joined forces to form Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition to win the general election and oust the long-running Najib Razak's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), in an alliance based on a promise that Mahathir would cede power to Anwar.

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