The Straits Times Singapore on Malaysia’s latest political turmoil…







Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sent his resignation letter to the King at 1pm Monday (Feb 24), his office said in a brief statement.

But sources told The Straits Times the shock move is likely to be followed by declarations of support for him to continue in power until the end of the current parliamentary term.

Tun Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) announced today it has left the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition. Meanwhile 11 MPs from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) have also quit the party to form an independent bloc.

The exit of these lawmakers has left PH short of simple majority in Parliament, meaning the current government has effectively fallen.

The resignation move is likely to have been tactical, with a view to undoing the PH transition agreement under which Mr Anwar was supposed to replace the 94-year-old Dr Mahathir before the next election due in 2023.

“Nope, the Agong will reject the resignation saying Mahathir has the support from the majority of Parliament,” a source said, referring to Malaysia’s King.

However, there is no certainty over whether the King, who is meeting Mr Anwar at 2.30pm, will accept the resignation or ask Dr Mahathir to stay in office.

Another PH source said that the Palace was already presented with the necessary declarations on Sunday night, but the delay may have been due to unresolved negotiations over government positions between those forming a new coalition tentatively called the National Alliance that is supposed to include opposition parties such as Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia.


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