Mahathir fails to get support for unity coalition in Malaysia, Latest World News - The New Paper

Mahathir fails to get support for unity coalition in Malaysia

This article is more than 12 months old

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has found little support for his plan to form a non-partisan unity government that will include his collapsed Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition as well as rivals Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).

Instead, the opposition Barisan Nasional coalition and PAS are calling for Parliament to be dissolved so a general election can be held to determine the new government.

As the political turmoil sparked by Dr Mahathir's shock resignation as prime minister on Monday continued, Malaysia's king, Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin, yesterday took the unprecedented step of interviewing all 222 MPs to determine who has their support to form a new government.

Meanwhile, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday that the Republic is closely monitoring political developments across the Causeway and will respect the decision of the Malaysian leaders and work with the government of the day.

Noting that the situation in Malaysia was evolving rapidly, he added: "It is a domestic matter, and I hope the various parties will come to some agreement expeditiously."

In his remarks to reporters after an event at the Parkroyal on Kitchener Road hotel, Mr Heng noted that Malaysia is Singapore's closest neighbour and both countries have many joint projects in the works.

They have also set up a joint working group to step up cooperation in tackling the coronavirus outbreak.

"I very much hope that we can continue our cooperation quickly.

"We will work with the government of the day to advance the many areas of bilateral cooperation that we have embarked on, and particularly in dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak," Mr Heng said.