By Mei Kuan
Prime Minister Tan Sri Mahiaddin bin Md Yasin announced that he and the entire Cabinet had submitted their resignations during an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at 12.30 noon at the palace.
During the live address at 3pm today (August 16), he explained that he no longer commands the majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
“Thus, today I resign as the prime minister together with the Cabinet in accordance with the Federal Constitution,” he said.
“I hear the sincere pleas of millions of Malaysians for me to not resign. However, I could not fulfill the wishes as I no longer command the majority. This is in line with my oath of office,” Mahiaddin expressed.
Today being his final day as the Prime Minister, he said, “The position I’ve held is a very heavy responsibility – leading the country during a health and economic crisis which has never occurred in global history as well as being threatened politically at the same time.”
“I could take the easy way by sacrificing my principles in order to maintain my position. However, that is not my choice. I will never be involved in kleptocracy, influence the judiciary or go against the Federal Constitution just to stay in power,” he stressed.
He sought forgiveness for his flaws throughout his term as the Prime Minister: “The Cabinet and I have tried our best to save lives and protect livelihoods throughout the ongoing crisis. However, as human beings, there are bound to be errors here and there.”
According to him, the upcoming two months are vital as the herd immunity is expected to be achieved in October: “Rest assured as my Cabinet has ordered over 87 million doses of vaccines for the people with a huge allocation of RM4.36 billion.”
“I hope the new government which takes over the administration of this country will take good care of all of you because it is the only thing that I care about,” he added, reminding all to stay calm.
Meanwhile, according to the palace’s statement, the resignation of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet are immediate and effective today.
Following the resignation, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong consented for Mahiaddin to act as the caretaker Prime Minister until a new Prime Minister is appointed.
“This is in line with Article 40(2)(a) and 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution which states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong must appoint a member of the Dewan Rakyat who, in his view, commands the majority as the new Prime Minister to chair the Cabinet,” the statement mentioned.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong expressed his appreciation for Mahiaddin and the Cabinet for their service under Perikatan Nasional beginning March 1 of 2020.
He also urged all to remain calm and collectively fight the COVID-19 pandemic.