KUALA LUMPUR – The new Malaysian prime minister outlined his plans for posts in the new government, including his own appointment as education minister, at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
Former opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad, whose Pakatan Harapan coalition won the last week’s elections in Malaysia, on Thursday spoke to around 80 people about education and the composition of the new Cabinet, an efe-epa journalist reports.
Mahathir, who also served as premier from 1981 to 2003, explained that he hopes to have 13 new ministers sworn in on Monday.
He is slated to become the new education minister, with his wife and deputy prime minister Wan Azizah taking the women’s affairs portfolio.
The 92-year-old politician, and the world’s oldest sitting head of government, also added that Malaysia’s Registrar of Societies on Wednesday approved the registration of the Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition, which is made up of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Democratic Action Party and the Parti Amanah Negara.
Malaysia’s contentious May 9 election saw the demise of former prime minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional (National Front) government and the victory of the opposition.
That political change led to the release from prison of senior politician Anwar Ibrahim, who had been jailed for sodomy, as well as intensifying scrutiny of Najib, who has been accused of channeling $681 million into his own bank accounts from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund.
Malaysian authorities Saturday barred Najib from leaving the country, and police have over the past few days searched his apartments in Kuala Lumpur.
The ex-prime minister denies claims of corruption and has said the money was a donation from the Saudi royal family.