PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to be officially sworn in as Malaysia's seventh prime minister at 9.30pm Thursday night (May 10).
Bernama tweeted that the ceremony is set to take place before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara at about 9.30pm.
The Pakatan Harapan chairman, along with leaders of three other coalition parties – PKR's Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP's Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negara's Mohamed Sabu – were seen entering the palace grounds before 5pm as he was expected to be sworn in around that time.
However, hours passed without the entourage leaving, raising questions as to what developments were taking place inside.
In a later tweet, Bernama said that four Pakatan Harapan leaders completed their audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at 6.48pm.
Sources said that the evening meeting with the King was not for the swearing-in ceremony.
"The Yang di-Pertuan Agong took the opportunity to talk to the leaders. He had individual sessions with them," said the source.
However it is not clear what are the issues that were raised in the meeting between Sultan Muhammad and the presidents of the three parties.
Around 6.40pm, news started circulating that the swearing-in would only be held later.
A Facebook fan page for Dr Mahathir's son and newly-elected Jerlun MP Datuk Seri Mukhriz also mentioned the matter.
The posting said: "Setelah lama menunggu. Ayahanda Tun Dr Mahathir mendapat Perkenan untuk mengangkat sumpah sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia jam 9.30 malam nanti. Syukur Alhamdullilah (After a long wait. Tun Dr Mahathir has received consent to be sworn in as Malaysia's Prime Minister at 9.30pm. Syukur Alhamdulillah)".
The Dr Mahathir-led Pakatan won the 14th General Election with 113 parliamentary seats.