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Palace welcomes return of newly-elected Malaysia PM Mahathir

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Newly-elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (R) addresses the media next to Wan Azizah, the wife of jailed former opposition leader and current Federal opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 2018. — AFP

Malacañang palace on Friday issued a statement congratulating Mahathir Mohamar “on his return as Prime Minister of Malaysia” after beating his political protege Najib Razak on Thursday in the country’s national elections.

“Prime Minister Mahathir is an old friend of the Philippines and his fresh mandate augurs well for the deep relations between the Philippines and Malaysia,” said the statement, quoting Presidential spokesperson Harry L. Roque.

“Malaysia, as we all know, is a brother nation and dependable partner of the Philippines for having played a constructive role towards the attainment of peace and stability in Mindanao,” said Mr. Roque, referring to Malaysia’s involvement in the peace negotiations between the Philippine Government and terrorist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) during the time of Mr. Mahathir’s predecessor.

He added: “We are thus confident that the strong partnership between our countries would continue to be enhanced in the years to come.”

Mr. Mahathir was Prime Minister of Malaysia for 22 years between 1981 to 2003 until he stepped down following controversies surrounding his authoritarian rule. He is now the world’s oldest elected leader at 92-years old. – Dane Angelo Enerio

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