Speaking from Turkmenistan, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said only the Pakatan Harapan presidential council will determine his position as Prime Minister, insisting it is the opposition member’s opinion that he should remain in power until the next general elections.
Dr Mahathir said the opposition members are not the ones to decide but it a decision for the council.
Anwar Ibrahim, the pm-to-be joined the presidential council, originally made of the top five leaders in the Pakatan Harapan coalition, in 2018. The other five are Dr Mahathir, as Pakatan Harapan chairman, Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who is the coalition president, Muhyiddin Yassin, deputy president, Lim Guan Eng, deputy president and Mohamad Sabu, also a deputy president.
Speaking of the opposition members from Umno and the Islamist PAS who made public their statement of support for the PM, he said, “If it was them (the Opposition) who made me prime minister before the general election, they would have the right to ask me to stay longer.”
At least six Umno MPs voiced their support for Dr Mahathir last week at a press conference, saying they wish to see him lead the country until the next GE.
But Dr Mahathir maintained he could not set a specific time frame for the transition of the country’s leadership promised he won’t stay too long but will try to correct all the wrongdoings of former PM Najib Tun Razak.
“When I am satisfied, I will not continue (as prime minister) but I cannot give the specific time as the country is facing big problems that we cannot easily solve.
“That and other problems left by Najib need to be fixed,” Dr Mahathir said as reported by Bernama, the national news agency.
Earlier, Dr M had said he has no problems if the prime minister power transition issue was to be discussed in the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council.
“If there is a need to discuss, then it can be done in the Presidential Council (meeting),” the prime minister said.
He was responding to comments from deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who had said she is willing to discuss the matter within the council based on the advice from Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday said the issue of power transition between Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim should be internally discussed and based on consensus among leaders of Harapan component parties. -/TISG