Feb 24, 2020 13:18 UTC
  • Malaysia PM resigns, plunging country into turmoil

In a shock move, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says he has submitted his resignation to the country’s monarch, leaving the fate of the government in doubt amid talks on the formation of a new coalition administration.

According to Press TV, Mahatir’s office said in a statement on Monday that “his letter has been sent to His Royal Highness the King at 01:00 p.m. local time”

It is not clear if the king will accept the resignation.

Meanwhile, Reuters cited three sources familiar with the matter as saying that Mahatir also quit his Bersatu Party after resigning as prime minister.

The PM’s party first quit the governing coalition over the weekend following political wrangling between the bloc and other coalition members.

Mahatir’s party was aiming to exclude the premier’s anointed successor, Anwar Ibrahim, 72, from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) —Alliance of Hope — governing coalition.

Anwar, a senior political figure and president of the People’s Justice Party (PKR), is considered as the country’s most prominent political figure after Mahatir, and prime minister in waiting.

He was Mahathir’s deputy when the latter was prime minister during his first stint from 1981 to 2003. Mahatir sacked Anwar in 1998 after they disagreed on how to curb a financial crisis in the country at that time.