Malaysia’s prime minister in surprise resignation

Mahathir Mohamad

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (94) in a surprise move submitted his resignation to the king on February 24. The decision comes amid rumours that he may form a new coalition without his designated successor, Anwar Ibrahim.

A statement from his office contained no other details. Mahathir’s party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu , said it would continue to support him as prime minister. Mahathir also resigned as chairman of Bersatu which, in turn, quit the ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan.

Another group of lawmakers in the party of Anwar Ibrahim, who was in line to succeed Mahathir, said it was forming an independent bloc of eleven lawmakers.

It is so far not clear who will be the next prime minister or if new elections will be called. Expectations are that Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail could be the interim prime minister.

World’s oldest prime minister

Mahathir, the world’s oldest prime minister, came into power in 2018 when he ousted then-prime minister Najib Razak, who has been linked to a multibillion-dollar scandal involving government fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Mahathir has dominated Malaysian politics for decades – he was previously prime minister from 1981 to 2003, and was part of the long-ruling party Barisan Nasional.

The political turmoil could mean new challenges for Malaysia and deter investors looking for stability at a time when the global coronavirus epidemic and trade wars are hurting growth. Malaysia’s benchmark stock index has already dropped more than 20 per cent from its peak in 2018 and is set to enter a bear territory for the first time in 12 years. The Malaysian ringgit slumped to the lowest in almost six months when Mahathir informed of his decision.

Mahathir Mohamad Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (94) in a surprise move submitted his resignation to the king on February 24. The decision comes amid rumours that he may form a new coalition without his designated successor, Anwar Ibrahim. A statement from his office contained no other details. Mahathir’s party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu , said it would continue to support him as prime minister. Mahathir also resigned as chairman of Bersatu which, in turn, quit the ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan. Another group of lawmakers in the party of Anwar Ibrahim, who was in line to succeed Mahathir, said it was...

Mahathir Mohamad

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (94) in a surprise move submitted his resignation to the king on February 24. The decision comes amid rumours that he may form a new coalition without his designated successor, Anwar Ibrahim.

A statement from his office contained no other details. Mahathir’s party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu , said it would continue to support him as prime minister. Mahathir also resigned as chairman of Bersatu which, in turn, quit the ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan.

Another group of lawmakers in the party of Anwar Ibrahim, who was in line to succeed Mahathir, said it was forming an independent bloc of eleven lawmakers.

It is so far not clear who will be the next prime minister or if new elections will be called. Expectations are that Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail could be the interim prime minister.

World’s oldest prime minister

Mahathir, the world’s oldest prime minister, came into power in 2018 when he ousted then-prime minister Najib Razak, who has been linked to a multibillion-dollar scandal involving government fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Mahathir has dominated Malaysian politics for decades – he was previously prime minister from 1981 to 2003, and was part of the long-ruling party Barisan Nasional.

The political turmoil could mean new challenges for Malaysia and deter investors looking for stability at a time when the global coronavirus epidemic and trade wars are hurting growth. Malaysia’s benchmark stock index has already dropped more than 20 per cent from its peak in 2018 and is set to enter a bear territory for the first time in 12 years. The Malaysian ringgit slumped to the lowest in almost six months when Mahathir informed of his decision.

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