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In shakeup, virulently anti-Semitic Malaysian PM submits resignation


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Mahathir Mohamad, who has defended calling Jews ‘hook-nosed’ and said they ‘rule the world by proxy,’ steps down amid political turmoil in Kuala Lumpur

AFP and TOI staff

24 February 2020

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, at 94 the world’s oldest leader, submitted his resignation to the king Monday after a bid by his allies to bring down the government and block the succession of leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim.

Mahathir, who has called himself a proud anti-Semite, has come under fire on more than one occasion for comments he has made about Jews.

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Mahathir’s shock resignation followed 24 hours of political drama which saw an attempt by Anwar’s rivals within his own “Pact of Hope” coalition, which stormed to a historic election victory in 2018, and opposition politicians to form a new government.

The coalition would reportedly have excluded Anwar, Mahathir’s presumptive successor, and most of the lawmakers from his party, which would have stopped him becoming premier any time soon.

Anwar and Mahathir have a notoriously stormy relationship but they reconciled ahead of the 2018 polls, and Mahathir has repeatedly promised to hand over power to his former foe.

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