Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad to be sworn in as Malaysia’s prime minister at 9.30pm.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad led alliance of opposition parties has secured a historic win in yesterday’s general elections. Mahathir’s coalition, threshold of 112 needed to form the government. Mahathir’s opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, won 113 of the 222 contested seats, according to the Election Commission. Najib’s Barisan Nasional, or National Front, ended up with 79 seats, while the Islamic Party of Malaysia won 18 and the rest were split among other parties.
Mahathir’s coalition defeated the governing Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, led by Prime Minister Najib Razak, which has been in power for more than 60 years. BN coalition managed only 79 seats, a far cry from the 133 it won in the 2013 election. The victory capped a dramatic political comeback for Mahathir, who previously ruled the country for 22 years, and came out of retirement to take on Prime Minister Najib Razak after the leader became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal.
Mahathir’s previous stint in power lasted from 1981 to 2003. On victory address he said, “We need to study all the things done by the previous government,” he said in relation to the policies of the new administration.
He also declared that the 6% goods and services tax, introduced by Najib in 2015, would be scrapped, and voiced support for China’s Belt and Road initiative.
Ali Hamsa, the chief secretary to the government, declared the two additional public holidays in conjunction with the general election. His statement did not delve into the reasons, but Mahathir had said in April that he would grant two extra holidays after the polling day.
The central bank, it seems, was among those that did not see Mahathir’s victory coming: It had scheduled a monetary policy meeting for Thursday. That morning, Bank Negara Malaysia announced, “All financial institutions as well as the onshore money, bond and foreign exchange markets will also be closed during the period and reopen on Monday.” Later, however, it decided to go head with the policy meeting.
The stock exchange said on Thursday morning that it would reopen on Monday.
Ninety two year old Mahathir will be the oldest Prime Minister in the world when he takes the power.