Malaysia's King says Mahathir was asked not to resign as prime minister but went ahead

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was asked not to resign but he went ahead with his decision, Malaysia's King, Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin, said in an address to Parliament on Monday (May 18).

The King said, on Feb 24, the country was shaken by the resignation of Tun Dr Mahathir, the seventh prime minister, following which an audience was granted to Dr Mahathir to discuss the matter.

"In the audience, I had asked Dr Mahathir not to resign. However, he stuck with his decision," the King said in his royal address at the lower house of Parliament, also known as Dewan Rakyat.

"Therefore, I am responsible to appoint a new prime minister as required by the Federal Constitution," he said.

"Article 43 of the Constitution gives the discretionary powers to me to appoint a member of the Dewan Rakyat, who in my view, commands the majority support of the House."

Following which, the King said he had met each Member of Parliament from the Dewan Rakyat to determine their support of a rightful candidate.

On Feb 29, the King even asked each political party in the country to submit a name as their candidate for the prime minister's post.

Based on the request from the head of political parties, the King said he had granted a request to extend the period for political parties to submit their nomination to the post so they have ample time to decide in a democratic manner.

"In every competition, there will be an ending. The political turmoil in the country cannot be allowed to be prolonged without an ending.

"Therefore, after going through all the processes and in line with the Federal Constitution, I found that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had the majority support of the members of the Dewan Rakyat.

"And therefore was rightfully appointed as the eighth Prime Minister," he said.

The King added that he had conducted his duties in a transparent, trustworthy and fair manner, in line with the concept of Constitutional monarchy as well as Parliamentary democracy.

"At the same time, I appreciate the maturity and cooperation of all lawmakers and the rakyat who have played a part for me to carry on my duties," he said.