11 July 2024

As Malaysia’s interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad begins his attempts to form what he describes as a non-partisan administration his political rival Anwar Ibrahim is nominated as prime minister candidate by the political bloc that formed the former ruling coalition.

“If allowed, I will try to set up a non-partisan administration that does not side any party. Only the national interest will be given priority, this is what I will try to do,” Mahathir said in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday.

Malaysian media quoted Mahathir, who was breaking his silence on the political crisis which led to his abrupt resignation on Monday, as saying that politicians and political parties had become too obsessed with politics to the extent  that they overlooked the economic and health issues plaguing the country.

“Rightly or wrongly, politics and political parties must be set aside for the time being,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Pakatan Harapan, which formed the former ruling coalition, nominated Anwar, who is now seen as Mahathir’s political rival, as a candidate for prime minister after Mahathir failed to turn up for its meeting.

Anwar said Mahathir was invited to chair the meeting the meeting to revive the Pakatan coalition after the defection of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia from Pakatan, which was followed by  Mahathir’s resignation as prime minister and Bersatu chairman.