SEPANG, Nov 19 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad explained today that he is not sure if Malaysians are prepared for him to step down as prime minister, even as this was suggested as among the reasons for Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) loss in the Tanjung Piai by-election.
“We do not know yet the current situation in the country, whether it is ready for a transition of power or not.
“When the time comes, we will decide,” Dr Mahathir said when met at the South-east Asia Multaqa Ulama at the Movenpick Hotel and Convention Centre KLIA here.
PKR co-founder Syed Husin Ali had previously asserted that the crushing defeat suffered by PH was an indication of a referendum against Dr Mahathir’s leadership as prime minister.
Syed Husin claimed that the defeat was a loud and clear message of the voters’ disappointment towards the PH leadership, using the by-election instead to “teach” PH a lesson.
The former PKR deputy president then suggested that Dr Mahathir step down immediately and take the blame for the embarrassing defeat suffered at the hands of Barisan Nasional.
In Saturday’s final tally, BN trounced PH by a whopping majority of 15,086 votes, its biggest since 2004.
Earlier this month, Dr Mahathir had reiterated that his appointed successor will be Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and he will step down before the next general election.