Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has announced his resignation,, a shock move that could plunge the Asia country into political crisis.
Mahathir has also reportedly resigned from his own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, according to sources.
The prime minister has submitted his resignation to the country king, Sultan Abdullah of Pahang , his office on Monday said in a statement that Mr Mahathir was set to meet the king at 5pm
The move comes amid speculation that Mahathir was attempting to form a new ruling coalition that would exclude his promised successor, Anwar Ibrahim who accused the party of plotting to form a new government with the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the former ruling party ousted in 2018.
Earlier on Monday, Mahathir and Anwar held a meeting at the prime minister’s residence, before the latter held talks with the king.
But it remains unclear whether Mr Mahathir, who served his first term as prime minister from 1981 to 2003, will ultimately retire or whether the move is a political manoeuvre.
On Sunday night allies of Mahathir and some members of Anwar’s People’s Justice Party (PKR), as well as other Parliament members and those from the opposition, UMNO reportedly held talks in Kuala Lumpur, fuelling speculation of a new governing coalition.
Members of opposition parties met late on Sunday for dinner at the Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel which including United Malays National Organisation, Parti Islam Se Malaysia (PAS) as well as Bersatu and a group of PKR members led by Mohamed Azmin Ali, the economic affairs minister.