KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — The issue of when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad steps down as prime minister should be discussed and resolved amicably by the Pakatan Harapan leadership, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.
Malaysiakini quoted him as saying that he would be against the move if the timeline of the transition was rushed and disorderly.
“As I had said before, it should be arranged properly as Mahathir is experienced and contributed a lot,” he reportedly said during an event in Kimanis today.
“This is his volition so it should not be interpreted negatively in any way,” Anwar added.
Dr Mahathir said today he was ready to step aside anytime for Anwar if that is what the Pakatan Harapan (PH) parties want.
He was responding to yesterday’s news reports citing several PH lawmakers pushing for a solid date in the transfer of government leadership during a public forum in Bangsar titled “Should Malaysia wait until November for transition?”
“I think this will be decided when all the four parties are together whether they want me to go or not. And as far as I’m concerned, if they want me to go now, I will go now,” he told reporters after attending Bank Rakyat’s Inaugural Integrity Forum here.
Dr Mahathir said the decision can always be raised at the monthly PH presidential council, of which he is a member.
Several lawmakers from PKR namely Subang MP Wong Chen, Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Tanjung Malim MP, Chang Lih Kang and Selayang MP, William Leong were reported saying Anwar should be given power before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit is scheduled to take place in Malaysia this November.
The power transition from Dr Mahathir to Anwar was said to be one of the agreements made among the PH parties before its shock victory over Barisan Nasional in the May 2018 general election.
Dr Mahathir has repeatedly said he will relinquish the reins to Anwar, who currently holds no government post.