11 May 2018Hot off the Press
Dr Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as Prime Minister of Malaysia on Thursday night, after leading opposition parties to a surprise election victory.
For more than 60 years the National Front was Malaysia’s ruling party, but Dr Mahathir’s coalition won 113 seats — one seat more than the majority required.
Dr Mahathir, 92, was sworn in by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the elected monarch and head of state of Malaysia), Muhammad V of Kelantan, at 9:30 pm on Thursday.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, Dr Mahathir announced in a press conference that stabilising the economy and remedying the effects of corruption are his priorities.
Speaking about the billions of dollars lost in a corruption scandal centred on state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhard (1MDB), the new Prime Minister was confident that “we can get most of 1MDB money back … we have to increase the confidence of investors in the administration.”
However, according to analyst Aninda Mitra, the economic impacts of the change of government have already begun to be felt: “This upset ranks up there with Brexit and the Trump election. I believe the ringgit will come under pressure as policy continuity will come under a cloud.”