KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 – Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had officially sworn in as Malaysia’s Seventh Prime Minister at Istana Negara here this evening, following his shock election victory over the coalition that has ruled the Southeast Asian nation for six decades since independence from Britain.
Dr Mahathir, attired in a black and gold embroidered ‘baju Melayu’, took his oath of office as Prime Minister before Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at the Istana Negara at 9.57pm today.
The 92-year-old was accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.
This means that Dr Mahathir will be the world’s oldest prime minister and the first Malaysian to be premier twice. Dr Mahathir was previously prime minister from 1981 at the age of 56. He was the country’s fourth prime minister then. He stepped down from the post in 2003 after being in office for 22 years. Fifteen years later, he has become the oldest elected prime minister in the world.
The swearing-in, at about 10 pm, was witnessed by Chief Justice Tun Raus Sharif and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa. The King shook hands with Dr Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah after he entered the ‘Singgahsana Kecil’ (Minor Throne Room) and before taking his seat.
Dr Mahathir took his oath of office and the oath of allegiance and then signed the documents. At a press conference earlier, Dr Mahathir said he would appoint Dr Wan Azizah as deputy prime minister once he is sworn in. — PN