Hours after the resignation of Mahathir Mohammad, King of Malaysia appointed him as interim prime minister - Photo by CNN

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Hours after the resignation of Mahathir Mohammad, King of Malaysia appointed him as interim prime minister (PM). The appointment showed at the press statement released on Monday (02/24).

“His Royal Highness His Majesty Shah Ibni The late Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah has accept the resignation of Tun Mahathir bin Mohamad as prime minister of Malaysia. However, His Majesty was pleased to appoint him as interim prime minister awaiting the appointment of a new prime minister, said the statment

As an interim premier, said the King’ chief secretary, Mohammad Zufi Bin Ali, Mohammad will manage the administration of the country up to the PM and the cabinets selected.

This morning, Mohammad submitted his resignation to the Malaysia’ king, a shock move that could plunge the country into political crisis. The surprise announcement comes amid speculation that 94-year-old premier was attempting to form a new ruling coalition that would exclude his promised successor Anwar Ibrahim.

Earlier, the Supreme Council of Leaders of the Malaysian Bersatu Party made a decision to leave the ruling party Pakatan Harapan. The decision was made by assuming political developments in the future of the country.

“All of them have signed the Oath to continue to support and trust Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the prime minister of Malaysia,” said Bersatu’ president Muhyiddin Yassin in an official statement.

Immediately after the leave the ruling party, Ibrahim’ Keadilan Rakyat Party fired Malaysia‘ economic minister Mohamed Azmin Ali also housing and local government minister Zuraida Kamaruddin earlier Monday.

The world’ oldest leader, stunned many observers with a surprise election win in May 2018, ending six decades of dominance by the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition led by Najib Razak. Having previously held the position from 1981 to 2003, he was credited with turning Malaysia into a major trading and economic force in Southeast Asia.

After defeating Razak, he had promised to hand over the power to Ibrahim. Both complicated relationship goes back decades. The future premier was the heir apparent to then-Mohammad until 1998, when he was fired and charged with corruption and sodomy.

Ibrahim spent six years in prison after being convicted of corruption charges in 1999 and of sodomy charges involving his wife’ former driver in 2000. Malaysia’ highest court overturned the sodomy conviction and ordered him released from prison in 2004 but the corruption verdict was never lifted, barring him from running for political posts until 2008.

Once his ban on political participation was lifted, Ibrahim was hit with further sodomy charges. He was convicted again and jailed in 2015. The government denied accusations that his imprisonment was politically motivated.

In 2018, Mohammad and Ibrahim put aside their longstanding rivalry to fight together to defeat Razak and his UMNO party. Following Mohammad’ re-election, Anwar received approval pardon that allowed him to enter politics again. His wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, had endorsed Mohammad and served as his deputy in the coalition to oust Razak.

Mohamad has long experience as Prime Minister of Malaysia for a period of 22 years from 1981 until 2003. He guided the transformation on the Malaysian economy away from excessive dependence on commodities exports through an economic transformation program that boosted the development of the manufacturing export economy.

by Linda Silaen, Email: linda.silaen@theinsiderstories.com