SUBANG JAYA, Nov 27 — Tun Daim Zainuddin sought to distance himself today from the ongoing pressure for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to relinquish command to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The influential former finance minister and adviser to Dr Mahathir indicated that the power transition deadline was a matter for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council and not for him to comment.
“Let them decide. We don’t want to interfere,” he replied when asked to weigh in on the government leadership succession issue during a dialogue organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute here.
Daim has often been called on to negotiate thorny issues for the government previously, including a better deal with China that helped put the suspended construction of East Coast Rail Line back on track.
Dr Mahathir, who promised to step down as prime minister mid-term, is facing increasing pressure, including from within the PH coalition, to set a specific timeline for Anwar to replace him.
Last Thursday, Dr Mahathir said he and Anwar agreed that there is too much tension over their succession plan and that PH members should talk less about this and focus on serving the public.
The prime minister has repeatedly said he will not renege on his promise to make way for Anwar.
Asked about the possibilities of a Cabinet revamp, Daim redirected the question to the prime minister.
“How would I know? Ask our PM,” he told reporters.
Dr Mahathir has been reported to be considering a change in the current Cabinet line-up following PH’s loss of the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat in the recent by-election.
However, he said any change will only be announced if all PH component members and Parti Warisan Sabah agreed to it.