Making their point in keeping Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in power until the end of the 5-year mandate, the Islamists in opposition say removing the PM will cause instability in Malaysia.
Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) has given its unconditional support to Dr Mahathir saying they will prevent any attempt at removing him from power. PAS also says Pakatan Harapan requires a strong leader to steer a loose coalition.
The Islamists, through their vice-president Mohd Amar Abdullah have said that they see Dr Mahathir as the strongest, with his experience and attitude.
He said the Islamists must defend Mahathir’s Bersatu because other parties in Harapan do not have the “characteristics of Islamic leadership.”
Dr Mahathir won the support of the Islamist party leader Abdul Hadi Awang who last week wrote in the party’s organ Harakah Daily his party and the Umno will support the PM’s leadership.
The Islamists have 18 MP’s in Parliament. The party said its MP’s are ready to give Dr Mahathir full support in the event of a motion of no confidence against him.
Dr Mahathir won the unconditional support of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s deputy president Azmin Ali who is also the Minister of Economic Affairs in the cabinet.
Azmin who is the target of a political plot to undermine him with a series of gay-sex videos, said he supported Hadi’s statement and agreed that Dr Mahathir should stay in power for five years.
It meant that he did not support Anwar Ibrahim to become Prime Minister next year, as planned by the Pakatan Harapan leadership.
Azmin had also lent support to the son of Dr Mahathir, Mukhriz Mahathir who is the Menteri Besar of Kedah. The latter said there is no 2-year deal for his father to quit power and hand it over to Anwar.
Meanwhile, Bersatu’s state assemblymen in Selangor have also given their full support to Dr Mahathir for a full term as PM.
While it is expected that his party will give such support, it is worth noting it is made public amid an atmosphere of a potential challenge to Dr Mahathir’s leadership.
The Bersatu assemblypersons say their position follows media statements made by Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, as well as the same position taken by Umno and PAS in support of Dr Mahathir.
Malaysia was rocked by uncertainty on whether Dr M would honour Haparan’s consensus to hand over power to Anwar before his term ends.
Dr Mahathir himself changed his position on the 2-year mandate, giving the impression he wanted to push it to three years and now it is being forwarded to five years.
Harapan has a consensus which states Dr Mahathir will hand over power to Anwar in two years. But in the absence of a concrete timeline, choas has occurred in the ruling coalition.
Anwar appears to be challenged from within Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) itself. -/TISG