KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s former authoritarian leader Mahathir Mahathir has been sworn in as country’s seventh Prime before the country’s King hours after former premier Najib Razak said that he accepted the will of the people that handed Barisan Nasional (BN) a shock defeat.
The ceremony at the official state palace in Kuala Lumpur ended a day of uncertainty during which rumours swirled that the National Front, Malaysia’s ruling party for 60 years, would try to stay in power.
Dr Mahathir, following a series of press conferences in which he asserted that his Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition clearly won Wednesday’s vote and agreed to back him as Prime Minister, was granted an audience with the King, Sultan Muhammad V, at 5pm.
Dr Mahathir,92, was dressed in a traditional black “baju melayu” tunic and sarong, with an Islamic cap on his head.
Hundreds of Malaysians lined the road leading to the palace, waving party flags and cheering the 92-year-old Dr Mahathir.
At a press conference after being sworn in, Dr Mahathir reassured the financial community and said he would prioritise stabilising the economy and returning billions of dollars lost in a corruption scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Russian rocket fails in the mid air, crew lands safely
COSMODROME—Booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed in mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.
U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely without any harm.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, quoted by Interfax, said the problem occurred when the first and second stages of the booster rocket were in the process of separating.
The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around 1 km away said that it had gone smoothly in its initial stage.
“Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members,” NASA said in a statement.