TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as Malaysia's seventh Prime Minister on Thursday night (May 10), hours after former Premier Najib Razak greeted Mahathir on his appointment.
Najib also mentioned that he is prepared to help in a smooth transition of power. The newly sworn-in Prime Minister also met Malaysia's King, Sultan Muhammad V, at 5 pm. yesterday.
The 92-year-old has become the world's oldest elected political leader. He came out of his 15 years of retirement and joined Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope, also known as PH) coalition. PH ousted the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has been in power since Malaysia's independence in 1957.
PH secured a total of 113 seats out of 222 seats being contested, including some which have only ever been held by the government. Barisan Nasional secured 79 seats in the elections.
Mahathir also told reporters that his focus would be on the country's finances. He would seek the return of millions of dollars lost in a corruption scandal at 1Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB), a state investment fund set up by Najib. He stated that he believes that it is possible to get most of the 1MDB money back. He also has renewed his promise to seek to have his former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, released and pardoned. Anwar was jailed for corruption and sodomy after calling for economic and political reforms.
Mahathir was previously the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia. He governed the country from 1981-2003, overseeing a period of rapid industrialization and infrastructure building. Mahathir vowed to look forward to working for the future of his country and "should not be harping on our past.”