KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today dismissed the need for a Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council meeting to fix a date for the transition of power from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Lim, who is also finance minister, pointed out that Dr Mahathir previously said he would relinquish the post after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November, amid questions over transition to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“I believe what Tun meant was that if the presidential council is not satisfied with his performance, the council can decide on whether he should resign or withdraw,” Lim was quoted saying by Malaysiakini, referring to Dr Mahathir.
“He has mentioned this during (past) presidential council meetings. But until now, I see no reason to hold a specific meeting to discuss this matter since the PM himself said he will leave after November.
“This is at the end of the year, not too long from now. Let us follow the timeline he has recommended. I believe (the transition) should be done in an orderly manner without any problems,” he added in the report.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir said he was ready to step aside anytime for Anwar if that is what the PH component parties agree on.
Dr Mahathir said the decision can always be raised at the monthly PH presidential council, of which he is a member.
He was responding to Monday’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?”
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 Apec Summit is scheduled to take place in Malaysia this November.
Lim said Dr Mahathir’s recommended timeline would ensure a smooth transition of power that would subsequently safeguard stability and drive economic growth.
He also called on all quarters to be united and committed to improving the economic situation while issues that do not benefit towards this end should not be raised or become the subject of dispute.
“Surely, there will be much speculation but I see this as a demonstration of his openness and if the presidential council makes a decision (on the transition), he will accept it.
“As for now, the schedule is fixed for after Apec. I want to be frank. If we cannot ensure a smooth transition of power, it will be difficult for us to convince the people and face the next general election,” he said in the report.
He added the top two priorities should be economic growth and fulfilling the promises in PH’s manifesto with the smooth transition of power the third on the list.
“(If the three priorities are met), I feel we have carried out our responsibilities and we can face the people with confidence in the next election,” he reportedly added.
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.