Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has submitted a letter of resignation to the King of Malaysia, his office said on Monday when he spoke about forming a new government coalition. The fate of the Malaysian government coalition had been in doubt after surprising weekend talks between it and opposition groups. Formation of a new government that would rule out Mahathir's anointed successor, Anwar Ibrahim.
"The letter was sent to His Royal Highness, the King, at 1:00 p.m.," Mahathir's office said in a statement.
It wasn't immediately clear whether Mahathir could form another government with the support of other parties, but his party, Bersatu, has also left the government coalition, its president, Malaysian Interior Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, said on Facebook.
On Sunday, Anwar had accused Mahathir's party and "traitor" in his own party of forming a new government with the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the former ruling party that was overthrown in 2018 under allegations of the transplant.
Sources said Mahathir's party and a faction in Anwar's party met with UMNO and Islamist PAS officials to form a new coalition and possibly support Mahathir to serve a full five-year term as prime minister scared investors and brought the Kuala Lumpur benchmark to a 10-year low, while the ringgit currency fell 0.7% to an almost six-month low, the sharpest decline in over three years.
The dispute between old rivals Mahathir (94) and Anwar (72) has shaped Malaysian politics for decades, and tensions persisted despite their alliance to win the 2018 elections based on the promise that Mahathir would one day cede power to Anwar would
(Letter from A Ananthalakshmi; Additional reporting by Rozanna Latiff, Liz Lee and Tom Westbrook; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)