11 July 2024

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad has been given the mandate by the ruling coalition to stay on as the country’s leader until after the APEC summit in November to decide when to step down.

“I am proud that everyone has left it up to me to decide when I want to relinquish my post. I will decide,” said the 94-year-old prime minister after a meeting of the presidential council of Pakatan Harapan, the ruling political bloc.

Malaysian media reported that the decision reaffirmed Mahathir earlier statement that he would hand over power to Anwar Ibrahim, leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat, after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November, which Malaysia is hosting.

Mahathir, however, did not commit to a date.  Mahathir became prime minister after the ruling pact swept to power in the general elections in May, 2018 and pledged to step aside for Anwar after two years.

Anwar, seated next to Mahathir during a press conference, suggested that he supports the premier’s decision.