Malaysia’s PM Mahathir Mohamad Resigns, Here’s What You Should Know

Image credit: Dr Mahathir Mohamad Facebook

 

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has submitted his resignation to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong today and we are SHOOK by the sudden announcement.

Following his resignation as Prime Minister, he has also stepped down as the chairman of Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party, led by Mahathir). How did all this happen in one day? We break down on what you should know and what may happen next.

 

How did all this happen?

According to Malaysiakini’s report, a source told that Mahathir was fed-up with speculations in the last 24 hours and was “just too tired when his own party leaders tried to go for the latest manoeuvring.”

Speculations on the formation of a new coalition were circulating yesterday when PAS (Malaysian Islamic Party) president Abdul Hadi Awang, his Umno counterpart Ahmad Zahid Hamid and PKR (People’s Justice Party) deputy president Azmin Ali as well as numerous other MPs from BN (Barisan Nasional), GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) and PAS showed up at Bersatu’s gathering at Sheraton Petaling Jaya in the evening. Multi-party gatherings at several other locations were occurring at the same time.

 

Why now?

Before the 14th General Election, it was agreed by the Pakatan Harapan component parties that Mahathir would only hold his postition as prime minister for two years if he were to win before transition of power to his designated successor PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim.  

Despite allegations on Members of Parliament supporting Mahathir to complete his full term as prime minister (5 years), Mahathir reiterated that he will handover the prime minister post to his successor as promised, after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November. 

 

What’s next?

Currently Pakatan Harapan no longer has the majority of seats to form a government at the time of writing and we don’t know how this would change in the next few hours.

How will the next prime minister be chosen? Here is an analysis on what could happen:

 

Mahathir arranged an audience with the King at 5pm today in the wake of his resignation and attempts by several parties to form the new government. Earlier this afternoon, Anwar Ibrahim and Deputy Prime Minister had separate meetings with the King at Istana Negara but have not spoken to the media regarding the matter. 

According to Malaysiakini, DAP has plans to renominate Mahathir as the PM once the Pakatan Harapan coalition gets the simple majority of 112 seats.

Anwar Ibrahim has also clarified that the former PM had no part in attempting to create a new coalition government. “He had been clear, there is no way he will ever work with those associated with the past regime,” he told the media at PKR HQ.

On the evening of 24 February, the King accepted Mahathir’s resignation and appointed him to be Malaysia’s interim PM until a new PM steps up and a Cabinet is formed. This also means that the Cabinet is now dissolved.

During a televised address on 26 February at 4.45pm, Mahathir apologised to the nation on the current political turmoil and denies that he is power crazy. “I resigned because I see power and positions as not the be all and end all. It is a means to an end to achieve certain objectives for the good of the nation,” he said while reasoning his decision to step down as PM. He added that he was unable to accept UMNO to join the government as UMNO.

The interim PM also stated that he will be making a decision on forming a government which prioritises interests of the rakyat and not political parties. “If allowed, I will try to form an administration that does not side with any party. Only national interest is prioritised,” he said.

A New PM For Malaysia

On 29 February, the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin released a statement announcing that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed as Malaysia’s 8th Prime Minister. He sworn in as the new PM the next day at Istana Negara.

 

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