Time for Dr M to step down as PM to save Pakatan, says PKR MP

File picture shows Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
File picture shows Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — PKR lawmaker Hassan Abdul Karim has proposed for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down as he claimed the latter is not able to manage several pressing issues.

In a statement today, the Pasir Gudang MP said that is the best possible solution in order to avoid Pakatan Harapan (PH) from splitting up.

“As one of the MPs from PKR who had signed the support letter to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to have Dr Mahathir to be appointed as the prime minister after the general elections, I am in the opinion that it is time for Dr Mahathir to step down as prime minister.

“It is clear that he is unable to manage several national issues at present,” Hassan said in the statement.

Citing the increase of raging issues involving race, religion, and royalty, Hassan said Dr Mahathir has seemed to have lost his way and ability to face criticisms, particularly from the Chinese educationist group Dong Zong, which the prime minister had claimed to be racist.

He, however, said the contributions of the 94-year-old premier would still be remembered and respected as Dr Mahathir had succeeded to lead PH into winning the 14th general election and form a new government.

“But the recent developments in the country had raised issues that aims to disunite the people, therefore the time has come for the transition of power from Dr Mahathir to [Datuk Seri] Anwar Ibrahim to be done as soon as possible, in order to save the PH government,” he said.

Hassan said Anwar’s past efforts had brought together the then opposition party of different races and religion.

He said after the 1995 general elections, Semangat 46 had become more “extreme”, which resulted in end of the Gagasan Rakyat coalition at the time, comprising of Semangat 46, DAP, Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) and Indian Progressive Front, ahead of the Sarawak election as the pact was unable to deal with racial issues.

He said the same had taken place for Barisan Alternif, which was made up of PAS, DAP, PRM, and Parti Keadilan Nasional, after the 11th general election in 2004 and ahead of the Sarawak election, following the racial and religion dispute between PAS and DAP.

“After Anwar was freed from prison, he had toured across the country to build an opposition coalition to face the 12th general election in 2008. His efforts had formed Pakatan Rakyat and for the first time in the 2008 election, Barisan Nasional had lost its power in Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Perak, and Kelantan.

“Anwar was the force that united the opposition parties of different races and religions.

Hassan said after the 13th general election there was a vacuum in the Pakatan Rakyat leadership and Anwar was again sent to prison and PAS had become “more extreme” on race and religion issues, which saw the disintegration of the coalition ahead of the Sarawak elections.

“To save PH, there is no other way to avoid the pact from splitting up ahead of the Sarawak election in the near future, as what had happened to Gagasan Rakyat, Barisan Alternatif, and Pakatan Rakyat.

“I hope that Dr Mahahir, who has a big heart, would make the bold move and step down,” he said.

The 12th Sarawak state election is scheduled to be held before September 2021.