[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Malaysian PM Abdullah resigns
Resignation clears path for deputy in carefully planned handover of power.
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2009 04:17 GMT
Abdullah said his tenure as prime minister was marked by "missed opportunities" [AFP]

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Malaysian prime minister, has formally submitted his resignation to the country's king, paving the way for the appointment of his deputy as Malaysia's sixth prime minister.

The outgoing prime minister handed his letter to Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, the country's constitutional monarch, at the palace in the country's capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday morning.

He made no comment to a small group of reporters gathered outside the palace.

The move is part of a carefully orchestrated transition that will see Abdullah hand power to his deputy, Najib Abdul Razak.

The king has already given his consent for Najib to be sworn in as prime minister, and he is expected to take the oath of office, loyalty and confidentiality at the palace in Kuala Lumpur on Friday morning.

Abdullah, who took office in 2003, was pressured to step down following a dismal performance by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in last year's general elections.

He is likely to be remembered for allowing more public freedoms than his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad, who was known for his semi-authoritarian rule during his 22 years in office.

But he also failed to fulfil promises to eradicate corruption, reform the judiciary and strengthen institutions such as the police and the civil service.

Earlier this week Abdullah told Malaysian media editors that his time in office was marked by "missed opportunities", and that the poor electoral showing in 2008 was his biggest regret.

The BN, which has been in power since independence in 1957, failed to maintain its two-thirds majority in parliament for the first time in 40 years, and also lost control of an unprecedented five states.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Part of the joint accord aimed at ending the political impasse establishes an independent National Election Commission.
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
Local painters forgo experimentation to cater to growing number of foreign buyers.
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
Palestinians in Gaza have been shocked by the scale of Israeli destruction, as long-term truce efforts continue.
join our mailing list