A Pakatan Harapan MP who is known to be a strong supporter of PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim has urged the ruling coalition to set a clear date for the departure of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is from PKR, says this will establish the certainty of a May 2020 power transition from Dr Mahathir to Mr Anwar.
He also says Pakatan has to refocus its efforts on fulfilling its manifesto, hinting that some in the coalition feel that the Mahathir government has diverted from this agenda.
“We need to redouble our efforts to deliver on the pledges of our manifesto,” Nik Nazmi said in a statement to the media on Friday (Jan 3).
“Among the things the rakyat (the people) is demanding certainty is the transition as promised by the Harapan consensus announced on Jan 6, 2018.
“This (the transition date) is something that needs to be done for the sake of our country. Whether it is my constituents, I meet in the market, civil servants in Putrajaya or the business community, they want a clear answer on this matter.”
He admitted that Pakatan was able to implement pro-rakyat economic policies and institutional reforms but acknowledged that they should have done better on economic reforms.
“More work needs to be done in terms of not only creating more jobs and bringing the cost of living under control but also future-proofing our economy. This is to ensure our workers will be able to compete in the face of rapid technological change,” he said.
“Malaysia cannot be peaceful and progressive without socio-economic justice. The iconic year of 2020 must be a year of reform for the rakyat,” he said.
“Harapan must continue the process of institutional reform and super-charge the modernisation of our economy.”
The issue of leadership transition for the Pakatan has rocked the coalition over many months. Several high-profile political figures in Pakatan have urged Dr Mahathir to quit after the government was thrashed in a by-election in Johor in November last year.
But many in Pakatan have also given tacit support to Dr Mahathir to remain in power well beyond 2020. Some in Mr Anwar’s party have also urged Dr Mahathir to remain in power for a full five-year term. This, however, contradicts Pakatan’s deal for a two-year tenure for Dr Mahathir.