AGENCIES, Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has announced his resignation 1.00pm Kuala Lumpur time on Monday. However, the senior politician was asked to stay on as interim leader by the country’s monarch.
Nonagenarian Mahathir’s decision follows a weekend of political wrangling after which he released a two-line statement that he had informed the country’s king of his resignation.
According to sources close to Mahathir, he has also resigned from his own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. Mahathir’s party also confirmed that it was quitting the ruling government coalition, Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope).
Prior to Mahathir’s shocking announcement, local media reported on Sunday night that his party was planning to form a new government that would exclude his anointed successor, Anwar Ibrahim.
Malaysia’s king accepted Mahathir’s resignation after meeting with him, according to chief secretary Mohd Zuki Ali. “His Highness has given his assent to appoint Mahathir Mohamad as interim prime minister, while waiting for the appointment of the new prime minister. Hence until then, (Mahathir) will manage the country’s affairs until a new prime minister and cabinet are appointed,” Zuki said.