Malaysian prime minister, 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, has submitted his resignation to the king.

Mr Mahathir’s shock resignation comes amid rumours that he may form a new coalition without his designated successor, Anwar Ibrahim. The world’s oldest prime minister came into power in 2018. In a surprise victory, he ousted then-prime minister Najib Razak, who has been linked to a multibillion-dollar scandal involving a government fund.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the letter of resignation was submitted. No other details were included in the statement. It is not clear who will be the next prime minister – or if new elections will be called. The 94-year-old has also resigned from Bersatu, the political party of which he was chairman.

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad (R) raises up Anwar Ibrahim's hand

Bersatu had been part of the ruling opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan, which Mr Mahathir had joined in 2018 together with Mr Anwar. On Sunday, Mr Anwar accused Mr Mahathir and his party of being “traitors“, saying they had plans to form a new government, presumably without him. But on Monday, Mr Mahathir submitted his resignation. A corespondent said Mr Mahathir might not actually be ready to step down.

“At 94, Mahathir Mohammad is still the master manipulator of Malaysian politics, and few believe he is ready to step down, despite the dramatic offer of resignation he’s just sent to the country’s constitutional monarch,” he said. “It is possible, even likely, that Mr Mahathir will remain as prime minister.”

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