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Mahathir resting at home, 'no press conference tonight', says media team amid speculation of new coalition being formed

PETALING JAYA — Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is resting at his residence and will not hold any press conferences on Sunday evening (Feb 23), said his media team.

Malaysian Prime Minister chairman Mahathir Mohamad leaves the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia headquarters in Petaling Jaya Feb 23, 2020.

Malaysian Prime Minister chairman Mahathir Mohamad leaves the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia headquarters in Petaling Jaya Feb 23, 2020.

PETALING JAYA — Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is resting at his residence and will not hold any press conferences on Sunday evening (Feb 23), said his media team.

The comes amid intense speculation that he will form a new government with Barisan Nasional, PAS, Warisan Sabah, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and a small faction from the People's Justice Party (PKR).

“No announcement. No press conference tonight,” wrote a member of Dr Mahathir’s press team in a WhatsApp group with reporters at 6.58pm on Sunday evening.

The prime minister’s press team added that Dr Mahathir will not be going to Hotel Sheraton in Petaling Jaya on Sunday either. 

According to the press team, Dr Mahathir is currently at his residence and did not meet the king at Istana Negara today.

“At PM’s residence. Yes, he is at home,” said one officer.

It was earlier reported that Dr Mahathir had been granted an audience by the king with Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. 

This follows a day of intense speculation that Bersatu and a small faction from PKR will leave Pakatan Harapan to form a new government with other parties.

Amid the speculation, four parties — Bersatu, Umno, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and PAS — all held emergency meetings on Sunday.

There was, however, no press briefings after any of the meetings and it is not known what was discussed in them.

A group of PKR MPs and assemblymen led by deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, meanwhile, are holed up in Hotel Sheraton in Petaling Jaya.

They are said to be holding their own meetings.

The flurry of meeting follows Pakatan’s presidential council meeting on Friday, where it was decided that Dr Mahathir would be allowed to decide his own resignation date.

At the meeting, heated exchanges were reported as one side wanted Dr Mahathir to specify the date he will step down after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November, while another side wanted him to remain prime minister for a full term.

Dr Mahathir’s supporters, meanwhile, had urged that PKR, DAP and Amanah allow the prime minister to decide when he wanted to step down.

After the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, Dr Mahathir had told reporters that the Pakatan coalition had given him the mandate to decide his own resignation date. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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Pakatan Harapan Bersatu coalition Dr Mahathir Mohamad

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