Agong removes Pakatan ministers after Dr M’s resignation as PM

Ida Lim
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad leaves Istana Negara February 24, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Members of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Cabinet have been relieved of their duties following his resignation as the prime minister today, Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali announced tonight.

Mohd Zuki said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong assented today to the revocation of the ministers’ appointments on the prime minister’s advice as provided for under the Federal Constitution’s Article 43(5), adding that this was in line with Dr Mahathir’s resignation today.

“In relation to that, the duties of the members of the administration (covering the deputy prime minister, ministers, deputy ministers and political secretaries) cease on the same date,” he said in a brief statement.

Under the Federal Constitution’s Article 43(5), the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may on the prime minister’s advice revoke the appointments of any ministers.

Earlier today, Mohd Zuki also announced that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has accepted Dr Mahathir’s resignation and appointed him as the interim PM until a successor is named and a new Cabinet formed.

The Attorney General’s Chambers also announced earlier that a caretaker government will be formed following Dr Mahathir’s resignation.

Dr Mahathir’s resignation as prime minister earlier today came amid speculation that there would be a new coalition government formed to replace the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

His resignation as prime minister also came around the same time as announcements were made of 11 MPs including Datuk Seri Azmin Ali quitting PKR and PH, and of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) decision which it said was made yesterday to pull out of the PH coalition while backing Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir has since resigned as PPBM chairman.

With the Azmin faction’s leaving of PKR and with PPBM’s pullout, the PH coalition was reduced to only three component parties PKR, DAP, Parti Amanah Negara and a collective seat count of 92 MPs.

Even if PH ally Parti Warisan Sabah were to remain aligned to the coalition, PH would still not be able to make up the 112 seats or simple majority in the Dewan Rakyat to be able to hold on to power, unless it managed to join forces with other MPs.

Earlier today, PH ministers such as Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad and Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub said farewell to their respective roles as health minister as well as agriculture and agro-based industry minister.

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