Mahathir’s resignation: Would he come back again?
Will Mahathir be able to separate himself from the power easily?
There have been several rumors surrounding the decision taken by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Muhammad, to resign that was made official in the two-line press releasing stating that he had also informed the Malaysian King of his decision at 1 pm local time on Monday, February 24, 2020. It is reported that Mahathir has also resigned from his political party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. Mahathir’s resignation at the age of 94 is now ordered by the government to be the interim prime minister until the new one is appointed. This could very well be a move to shock the country and send it down into a political crisis.
Mahathir’s resignation announcement was rather surprising, and people are under speculation whether this could be a move to form a new coalition and to remove his successor, Anwar Ibrahim, age 72, who was promised to become the new prime minister after the elections eventually.
The reason behind the Mahathir’s resignation is still unknown, but it followed a series of meetings between members of the coalition and with the opposition in efforts to remake the government. It is also rumored that there are conflicts between Mahathir and Anwar due to the delay in the plan for Anwar to take power.
There has been no limit assigned to the time Mahathir will serve as an interim prime minister and will be allowed to appoint cabinet positions. By the looks of it, it does not seem like Mahathir has any intention of leaving the government. Prime Minister Mahathir, who was also elected prime minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003, is not looking forward to leaving the power even after at the age of 94.
Current Political and Economical Conditions after Mahathir’s resignation
After the news of Mahathir’s resignation, several of the political factions in Malaysia have voiced their concerns and calling out to Mahathir to stay as the country’s prime minister, but he has a short window in much he can show he can form a government.
Malaysia, along with many other countries, is struggling with its economical factor due to the recent outbreak of coronavirus that has infected around 78,000 individuals globally with a large amount of it residing in China, and the death toll is increasing day by day. Around 2700 individuals have died due to the novel coronavirus, and the rate is increasing day by day.
The Malaysian currency Ringgit fell to six months low, and the stock market has gone to its lowest point since the last eight years in the country’s history. The government is taking major preventive measures to reduce the risk of exposure of this airborne contagious virus from spreading in the public that might hinder the progress of the country even more than it already has in the last couple of months.
On Sunday night, February 23, 2020, there has been an alleged meeting between the allies of Mahathir, members of Anwar Ibrahim’s political part, and a few other parliament members on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. It is being speculated that the meeting held caused issues between the people, and there would be an impending collapse of the coalition government along with political realignment in the country.
After Mahathir’s resignation, he has promised on multiple occasions to hand over the power to his former Anwar Ibrahim, but a proper deadline is yet to come. But the tensions are increasing between the two as Mahathir is still not comfortable enough to hand over the power to someone else.
On the other side, Anwar Ibrahim has also split with his party members, including Muhammad Azmin Ali, who is the current economic affairs minister of Malaysia, along with local government minister and one of the members that joined the meeting on Sunday.
Azmin Ali announced that he is quitting the party, and other lawmakers who were loyal to him also left, which until Monday was a dominant partner of the ruling coalition. The decision regarding Mahathir’s resignation has created turmoil rather than stabilize the economy.
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