Guan Eng confirms interim PM to proceed with economic stimulus plan
Published:  Feb 25, 2020 8:26 AM
Updated: 3:29 PM

Interim Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed will likely proceed with the economic stimulus plan drafted by the previous Pakatan Harapan government, said former finance minister Lim Guan Eng.

Lim (above) said he had finalised the economic stimulus plan last Sunday but could not present it as Mahathir abruptly resigned as prime minister the next day thus causing the government to be dissolved.

Lim said the economic stimulus package was amongst the issues discussed during his meeting with Mahathir this morning.

"Amongst the issues discussed was the economic stimulus package that was planned to be announced by Mahathir on Feb 22 in reaction to the adverse global economic impact to Malaysia caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

"Mahathir indicated that the economic stimulus package will go ahead on a date to be announced by him in his capacity as the interim prime minister," he said in a statement today.

The economic stimulus package is intended to counter slowing global economy as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak which has infected more than 80,000 people and claimed 2,702 lives to date.

However, political manoeuvring that resulted in the collapse of the Harapan government on Monday had further aggravated the country's economic situation.

Bursa Malaysia yesterday closed at an eight-year low, wiping RM43.4 billion in market capitalisation in a single day.

Former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, who was the economic affairs minister, had on Sunday met with the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong on the formation of a new coalition government, with Mahathir still as the prime minister.

Azmin was accompanied by Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, BN chairperson Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, GPS president Abang Johari Openg and Warisan president Shafie Apdal.

Mahathir was not present during the audience with the King. 

However, the ruler had wanted more time to decide on the matter.

The following day, Mahathir resigned as the prime minister and Bersatu chairperson.

Harapan leaders who had met Mahathir shortly before his resignation said they had been informed and claimed Mahathir was upset at the political manoeuvrings as he was not in favour of working with Umno.

However, Mahathir has remained publicly silent.

Mahathir (below), who handed in his resignation to the King yesterday, was asked to be the interim prime minister until a new government is formed.

The ruler is now interviewing all MPS to determine who they support as prime minister. After which the ruler will appoint the prime minister who will then form his coalition government.

Alternatively, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong can also dissolve the House if he finds no one has a majority.

Publicly, MPs from both sides of the divide have indicated they want Mahathir to continue as prime minister but cannot agree on the kind of coalition that he should form.

However, it remains to be seen if their public declaration of support for Mahathir will remain when they face the ruler.


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