Kuala Lumpur—Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamad has sent his resignation letter to the king, Reuters quotes two sources with firsthand information as saying, as the country has been abuzz with rumours of a new coalition to lead the country.
Al-Jazeera reports that on Monday (Feb 24) Dr Mahathir announced his resignation to make way for the new government to be formed. He said in a 2-line statement that he had told the king that he was stepping down at 1:00 pm, local time.
His resignation comes two days after rumours abounded throughout Malaysia of him leading his own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) to leave Pakatan Harapan (PH), the ruling coalition, in order to form a new government with new parties involved.
This is the second time in the history of Malaysia that he has resigned from the post of Chief Executive, having stepped down when he was 78 years old, in October 2004, after having served as Prime Minister under the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration for 22 years.
Dr Mahathir emerged after 15 years from his retirement in 2018 to run for the premiership and won over then-Prime Minister Najib Razak. Dr Mahathir’s party, PPBM, also confirmed today that it was leading the PH coalition.
It was reported on Sunday that the new coalition that was forming would exclude Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Mahathir’s longtime rival. Dr Mahathir had an agreement prior to the May 2018 elections that Anwar would succeed him as Prime Minister.
Anwar had served as Dr Mahathir’s Deputy Prime Minister when he was elected in 1981 but the two leaders had a falling out and by 1998, Anwar was removed from office.
Anwar also had a falling out with his rival within his own political party, Azmin Ali, who is a close ally of Dr Mahathir. —TISG