Mahathir declares public holiday for M’sia on Thursday & Friday, May 10 & 11

The ex-prime minister is in high spirits, bantering openly and even taking aim at himself.

By Belmont Lay | May 10, 2018

Mahathir Mohamad, the 92-year-old former prime minister who is going to become prime minister of Malaysia again, gave a rambunctious press conference in the early hours of May 10, 2018.

The press conference was to announce the procedures that are taking place following the opposition Pakatan Harapan alliance’s achievement of a simple majority, which gives it the right to form the next government of Malaysia.

Cheeky and in high spirits

Mahathir’s political nous and charisma was in full display, as he bantered with the crowd and spoke in fluent English.

He also took the opportunity to announce two public holidays on Thursday and Friday, May 10 and 11, for Malaysia.

Also touched upon was his own swearing-in ceremony as the new prime minister, where he would then be able to appoint the other ministers, including the designated deputy prime minister, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

This is the video:

Here is the transcribed portion of what Mahathir said from 3 min 39 sec:

“We are requested to inform the palace we have achieved majority according to our own account, but later on they wanted the official majority. And now that we have achieved the official majority, the palace requested that the leader of Parti Keadilan, The Justice Party, which happens to be Wan Azizah, who is also our designated deputy prime minister.” [Applause from crowd]

“It is of course, “designated” only. It is not yet our deputy prime minister. And at this moment, we don’t have a prime minister just yet. Until he swears.” [Crowd laughs]

“Not the usual kind of swearing but proper swearing. And after the prime minister is sworn in, and he is made prime minister officially, then he may appoint the deputy prime minister and the other ministers. So, initially he will be quite alone. So, for the next three days, when everybody else will have a holiday, as announced by Pakatan Harapan…” [Wild cheers]

“As announced by Pakatan Harapan, I have informed the chief secretary that he should announce it because I have no official status to announce a holiday, so the chief secretary will announce that there will be a holiday tomorrow and day after.” [Wild cheers]

“And also Saturday and Sunday, so you all will have four days of holiday. But there will be no holiday for the winners. That’s the trouble with winning. You have to work. Well, I hope that tomorrow, we will have a swearing-in ceremony of the prime minister.” [Wild cheers]

“Yes, yes, still alive.” [Crowd laughs]

“So, thank you very much, I think that’s all.”

About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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