Apr 2, 2009

PM Abdullah meets Agong in Istana Negara


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi arrived at Istana Negara at 9.55am to meet the King and left at 10.57am. Datuk Seri Najib arrived at the palace at 11.20am to have a audience with the King.
(Malaysiakini) Outgoing Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has gone to Istana Negara to meet the king today to hand in his resignation in a planned transition of power to his deputy Najib Razak.

Abdullah arrived at the Istana at 10am to have an audience with King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

The Agong was seen arriving at the palace 10 minutes earlier. As of 10.50am, Abdullah is still inside Istana Negara.

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Abdullah "will inform the king of his intention to resign and tell him that Najib is ready to assume the country's top post."

Najib has told reporters he will be sworn into office at a ceremony tomorrow, completing a transfer of power triggered by the ruling coalition's disastrous showing in elections a year ago.

Abdullah will have a function at his Defence Ministry in Kuala Lumpur believed to be a farewell party at 3pm today.

Analysts say he faces an enormous challenge to rejuvenate his Umno, which has floundered since those elections, and cushion the country from the worst effects of the global meltdown.

He faces his first big test next Tuesday with three by-elections that will be seen as a referendum on support for his fledgling leadership.

"He will inherit a divided party with trust in the government at its lowest ebb and a strong opposition," political analyst Shahruddin Badaruddin told AFP earlier.

He said Najib's challenge would be "to unite the fractured elements of the party."

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