Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says unless people put a gun to his head, he will relinquish power to Anwar Ibrahim.
“Unless they push me to the corner and put a gun on my head to continue until the term is finished.
“Unless you do that, I will step down. I will keep my promise,” he told reporters last week.
Dr Mahathir reiterated his promise several times last week, to quit and to hand over power to Pakatan Harapan’s designated leader and PM, Anwar.
Infighting is still raging through the Pakatan over who will become the PM after Dr Mahathir leaves or should Mahathir complete the 5-years mandate.
In an interview with the Turkish television channel TRT, he told the host he will quit and hand over to Anwar.
This is not the first time Dr Mahathir has said he will stick to his promises.
To the TRT channel, he was unequivocal.
On the succession plan, Dr Mahathir told TRT, “I’m not going against my own promise. Whatever happens, I will stick to the promise I made.”
Back to Malaysia, and pressed by the media, he repeated his claim.
“I agree Anwar will be next PM,” he says, much to the dismay of his party, the Bersatu and the politicians who want him to stay on.
Among those who do not seem to want Anwar as PM so soon is the latter’s deputy Azmin Ali, a powerful minister in the cabinet of Dr Mahathir.
Rocked by a sex-video scandal that is not going away, Azmin says he wants to see Dr Mahathir as PM for the next 4 years.
He does not believe Dr Mahathir must quit and make way for Anwar.
Explaining his statement that created more pressure and chaos within his party the Parti Keadilan Rakyat or Justice Party of which Anwar is the leader, Azmin says he supports the opposition’s call to ensure ‘stability and consistency’ in the country.
Mahathir has said he will quit when he feels it is time, that is when the country’s economy is on its rails.
As for Anwar Ibrahim, he says there is no hurry for Mahathir to quit and is willing to wait for his chance to helm the country.
When asked by the media what he thought of Azmin’s statement that he should not quit and let Anwar become PM, the elderly statesman says “That is his opinion.”