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  HOME PAGE 09/04/2020 04:26 
26.02.2020 16:12 News >> Mahathir Vows To Prioritize Malaysia's Interests

Mahathir Vows To Prioritize Malaysia's Interests

Ruling coalition backs interim premier's main rival Anwar Ibrahim for prime minister slot.

Malaysia's interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad on Wednesday said he intends to form a government focused on protecting the country's national interests.
"If given the chance, I will build a government that is not party-centric but rather prioritizes national interests," he said in a special address to the nation.
Mahathir, the world's oldest elected leader, resigned as prime minister on Monday but was appointed interim premier by Malaysia's king.
He said he was aware that his vision for a new government would draw a lot of criticism.
"I am not seeking something that will please many people. I will do what I think is best for the country," he said in the short televised address.
"Whether it is right or wrong, politics and political parties have to be set aside for the time being."
Mahathir also revealed the reason for his resignation, saying he could not accept the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) as part of the government.
The UMNO is Malaysia's largest opposition party and part of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition that ruled the country for decades but was defeated in the 2018 general elections.
"I can accept UMNO members who leave the party and join other parties, but they cannot join this unity government as UMNO members," said Mahathir.
"I cannot accept this so I resigned."
- Anwar gets PM nomination
Mahathir's ex-coalition partner and main rival, Anwar Ibrahim, on Wednesday said the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance has nominated him for the post of prime minister.
Anwar, who is president of the People's Justice Party (PKR), said the decision was made after Mahathir refused an invitation to attend the PH presidential council's meeting on Tuesday.
"Therefore, the council decided that the prime minister nominee will be Anwar Ibrahim," he said, reading out a statement at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya.
Traditional rivals Anwar and Mahathir had joined forces to oust the BN coalition from power in 2018.
As part of their agreement, Mahathir was supposed to hand over the prime minister's office to Anwar after two years, but the 94-year-old was resisting building pressure to set a date for the promised transfer. -



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