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Malaysia in transition

Mahathir resignation leaves coalition's campaign promises hanging

Leader unable to ignite economy, while foreign relations showed mixed results

Interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, left, coalition partner Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali, Malaysia's economic affairs minister. (Nikkei montage/Source photos by Reuters)

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's shock resignation on Monday surprised many. But for some, given the fragile coalition he had formed -- with its sole aim to oust the previous regime -- the collapse of his nearly two-year-old government was not entirely unexpected.

The 94-year-old leader emerged from retirement in 2017 to head a four-party coalition known as the Alliance of Hope, joining hands with former political rivals from the People's Justice Party, Democratic Action Party and Amanah, an offshoot of an Islamic party.

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