Wednesday, June 3, 2020 | ePaper

Mahathir resigned for a peaceful change of govt

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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has announced his resignation but was asked to stay on as interim leader by the country's monarch. Mahathir said in a two-line statement that he had informed the country's king of his resignation at 1pm Kuala Lumpur time (05:00 GMT) on Monday.

Mahathir also reportedly resigned from his own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, according to Reuters news agency, citing three sources. Mahathir's party also announced that it was quitting the ruling government coalition, Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope), casting doubt on the future of the partnership.

Mr Mahathir's decision follows a weekend of political wrangling, after it was reported on Sunday night that his party was planning to form a new government that would exclude his expected successor, Anwar Ibrahim. The king accepted Mahathir's resignation after meeting with him later on Monday.

No group of parties has sufficient MPs to form a government - so Malaysia's constitutional monarch will play an important role now, either inviting a political leader to form a new administration, or if that fails, calling a fresh general election.

Mr Mahathir has also resigned from Bersatu, the political party of which he was chairman. Bersatu had been part of the governing Pakatan Harapan alliance, which he joined in 2018 together with Mr Anwar Ibrahim, and which won the 2018 vote, ending more than six decades of rule by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

On Sunday, Mr Anwar said they had plans to form a new government, presumably without him. To form a new government is not going to be so straight forward.

But one thing has been proved that there is a political process open and transparent in Malaysia. It may take a little time but there will be no need for violence or a killing spree for the new government to be installed. That is the success for politics in Malaysia.

On the other hand, it is impossible for our people to think a peaceful change although all around the government there is decay and destruction. The biggest corrupt ones and law breakers remain safe in Bangladesh till an order comes from the prime minister.

It means the government machinery is not functioning and also helpless against the gravest wrongs against public interest. Whereas in Malaysia, sycophancy was not tolerated by Mahathir because he was sure of his competence.

Whatever Anwar Ibrahim says Mahathir is not so power hungry a man that he would agree to continue in power knowing his age is not on his side to assure the country of honest competent governance.

He does not accept that power is for an idle and incompetent person enjoying luxuries of power with no control over the government.

So it is hoped that very soon Malaysia will have a new government to follow the good example of Mahathir’s honesty and competence.  

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