Back in 2018, the charm of former long-serving Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohammad has proven right again in the hearts of Malaysians. This partnership with his former protege Anwar Ibrahim, and the newly minted coalition party Pakatan Harapan (PH) has claimed a shocking victory against evergreen Barisan Nasional (BN). The dynasty change was admirable and bittersweet as the new government has to navigate the trenches to uplift the nation. With Tun Mahathir at the helm, Malaysians took the risk and voted for his party. However, the oldest nation’s leader has shocked the world on 26 Feb 2020 (barely 2 years into the job) and resigned abruptly without citing any reason.

Mahathir Mohamad, right, and his protege Anwar Ibrahim (C) The National

“I would rather betray the world, than let the world betray me.”

Cao Cao, Romance of Three Kingdom

The Resignation

The critics and tabloids have long debated on when Tun Mahathir will honor his words and pass on the leadership baton to his presumed successor, Anwar Ibrahim. The formation of Pakatan Harapan was also fundamentally rooted in this promise sealed before their victorious election in 2018. Mahathir’s reluctance to set a takeover was clear as he repeatedly stop-short of giving any indicative period on when the moment will be. This uncanny procrastination has fueled frustration among party members and eventually drove him to tender his resignation as he refused to give up his power.

8th Prime Minister

To hold the government’s fort, Mahathir was immediately appointed as the interim Prime Minister by Malaysia’s King as the search for the 8th Prime Minister intensified. One week after Mahathir’s puzzling resignation on the 1st of March, the King was convinced that a low-profile politician by the name of Muhyiddin Yassin holds majority support in government and appointed him as the nation’s 8th Prime Minister. Known to many, Muhiyiddin was actually serving as Home Minister under PH’s government and his appointment tripled shocked the nation, as the political division within Pakatan Harapan continues.

The appointment of Muhyiddin Yassin, left, as prime minister (C) SCMP

No confidence vote

Soon after the appointment of the new Prime Minister within 2 years, Tun Mahathir has again secured Anwar’s support and plotted a motion to contest Muhyiddin’s government with a no-confidence vote. Untimely for the duo, the parliamentary session in March was rescheduled due to movement control order in a bid to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though the parliament did reconvene briefly in May 2020, the only agenda was the King’s speech, and thus the no-confidence motion was again postponed to the next session due within July 13 to August 27. With the latest report surfacing that former Malaysian PM Mahathir and 4 other MPs have been sacked from Bersatu, it remains to be seen if the motion can be successfully tabled in the next parliamentary session.

Dr Tun Mahathir (C) The National

Afterthoughts

“I would rather betray the world, than let the world betray me.” – Cao Cao, Romance of Three Kingdom

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