Mahathir will not be sworn in as prime minister on Thursday: Palace source

Mahathir will not be sworn in as prime minister on Thursday: Palace source

Mahathir 1
Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Langkawi on nomination day on Apr 28, 2018. (Photo: Jack Board)

KUALA LUMPUR: After a surprise election victory, Dr Mahathir Mohamad declared he would be sworn in as prime minister on Thursday (May 10) - but a palace source told Channel NewsAsia this will not be the case. 

Despite television stations advertising a live broadcast of the swearing-in at 9.30am, roads leading to the palace, or the Istana Negara, were blocked by police.

One police officer told Channel NewsAsia: "The government has not been formed, there is nothing happening here."

The Malay Mail reported that palace communication officer Mohd Husni Yusop said it had "yet to set a date for the ceremony".

He said: “Haven’t got any information about swearing in … but not today.”

Broadcaster TV3 also said that palace sources informed them there would be no swearing-in on Thursday.

Dr Mahathir, 92, and his opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan defeated the political party in power since independence, UMNO and its coalition Barisan Nasional, with 113 seats to BN's 79. 

To take on the role of prime minister, however, he needs to be sworn in by the king. His deputy prime minister candidate, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, had met with him early Thursday, as president of the People's Justice Party, given that all Pakatan's candidates had contested under her party's banner. 

Despite the limbo over his swearing-in, Pakatan supporters have started trickling in to wait for Dr Mahathir in front of the palace grounds.

One too young to vote himself, woke up at 5am to be there.

"This is a historic moment for our nation," said student Hasnul Hadi. "This is a moment for us, the youth, to be exposed to political activities."

Source: CNA/rw(cy)