PM’s renunciation leaves the country in a political disarray
PM Mahathir Mohamad handed his resignation to the Malaysia’s monarch on February 24, 2020. He was however reinstated as the interim Prime Minister of the country as Malaysia faces internal conflicts. His resignation has come as a shock, following the collapse of the ruling party and sparking a political crisis nationwide. It is not clear when a fresh set of general elections are going to be held. Till then Mr Mahathir would be the acting Prime Minister and would be handling the state affairs.
94 year old Mahathir became Prime Minister under the coalition government with Anwar Ibrahim’s party, who created history by winning the 2018 elections in Malaysia. A few minutes prior to the official resignation, the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Bersatu) announced that they would be leaving the four-party ruling coalition Alliance of Hope (Pakatan Harapan) to support the prime minister. Earlier that day, Anwar’s People’s Justice Party fired Malaysia’s Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin and the Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali further aggravating the unrest. Apart from that several lawmakers from the party also resigned claiming that they plan to form an independent party against the ruling party in the Parliament.
Malaysia’s monarchy has to play a crucial role in regulating this sudden shift as in Malaysia’s politics and plan the next course of action.
It has been speculated that Mahathir Mohamad resigned as the Prime Minister to end his allegiance to Anwar and his party and set to forge new alliance with other parties and independent blocks in the nation. He plans to regain power with new allies on his side instead of letting Anwar succeed as Prime Minister. Mahathir and Anwar united for the 2018 elections to successfully end the eight decade long rule of the UMNO-Barisan Nasional coalition which resulted in the removal of Najib Razak as then Prime Minister of the Southeast Asian country.
Mahathir Mohamad is regarded as the world’s oldest leader to have ever been elected. He joined hands with his foe Anwar Ibrahim for the ‘greater good’ at the time and has always reinforced the idea of Anwar succeeding him as the leader of the country. After nearly two years of the ruling coalition, Mahathir’s resignation following the reports of him forming new alliances wasn’t anticipated by Anwar leading to a large-scale political distress in the entire nation.