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Malaysia's rulers hold special meeting regarding political turmoil

Malaysia's rulers hold special meeting regarding political turmoil

Istana Negara, the official residence of the Malaysian king. (Photo: Vincent Tan)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's rulers held a special meeting on Friday (Feb 28) at Istana Negara to discuss the country's political turmoil. 

This comes after Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced his shock resignation as the prime minister on Monday.

READ: Mahathir's Bersatu party quits ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition; 11 MPs quit PKR 

READ: Mahathir returns as Bersatu chief

His Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) also quit the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition. On the same day, 11 members of parliament (MPs) from Mr Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) declared their departure from the party and PH to form an independent bloc in the parliament. 

Malaysians are anticipating the results of Friday's meeting to shed some light on the ongoing web of government transition which has unfolded in the past week. 

King Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Tuesday and Wednesday summoned all MPs to the palace to declare their choice of candidate for prime minister. 

On Thursday, Dr Mahathir, who is now interim prime minister, said that parliament will sit on Mar 2 to determine the next prime minister. 

READ: What you need to know about Mahathir’s resignation and the political upheaval in Malaysia

READ: No legal obstacle to form new ruling coalition, but against spirit of Malaysia's constitution, says an expert

Snap polls could also be called if the House fails to arrive at a decision after the special parliamentary session.

Mahathir Mohamad's resignation triggered the political crisis which has revived his long-running rivalry with his designated successor Anwar Ibrahim AFP/Mohd RASFAN

“(The Malaysian king) said he cannot find anybody with a distinct majority … He said the right forum will be the parliament,” Dr Mahathir had said after being summoned to the palace on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said that all processes related to election of the new prime minister in the Dewan Rakyat will be determined after official notification from the interim prime minister on the special sitting.

PH has stated that it was inappropriate for Dr Mahathir to make an announcement regarding the special sitting before the king has issued a statement.

The United Malays National Organisation, which has called for parliament to be dissolved and snap polls to be held, has also urged lawmakers to reject the special parliamentary session. 

Political parties are expected to convene respective special meetings on Friday to discuss their next action in this situation.

The happenings at the federal level are expected to affect the state governments, giving rise to the probability of change of government in certain states.

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