The ‘new’ government in Malaysia is still struggling over a specific date regarding the transition of power from Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to his designated successor, Justice Party president Anwar Ibrahim.
While Dr Mahathir recently said a date for his departure will be announced soon, his media and communications advisor, A Kadir Jasin said no documents pertaining to Pakatan Harapan mentions a time frame.
“There were five promises agreed to by Harapan leaders, which is Tun M (Mahathir) will be Harapan chairperson, Tun M will lead Harapan in the 14th general election, Tun M will become prime minister, seek a royal pardon for Anwar and pass the (prime minister) position to Anwar.
“However, the agreement, the documents do not state a date. The year 2020, 2030 or 2050, the date was not stated,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
However, Kadir said he is confident that Mahathir would keep his word.
During the weekend, Dr Mahathir said he would set the time and date for the handover of power to Anwar Ibrahim. “I will announce (the date) soon. I keep the promise,” Mahathir said, quoted by the Star, Saturday, September 21, 2019.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television on Wednesday, Anwar said he expects to take over as PM by May 2020.
According to Anwar, he can only wait for his turn. Since winning the general election in 2018, Mahathir said he would give up his position to his colleague, Anwar Ibrahim.
While Kadir says there is no timeline, Anwar told many news outlets the two-year timeline is set in writing in Pakatan’s deal with Dr Mahathir.
Mahathir returned as prime minister after the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition won the election on May 9, 2018, defeating UMNO.
Mahathir handed a shock defeat to his former protége, Najib Razak who is now facing a series of court cases on alleged corruption scandals.
Observers across the region say Dr Mahathir’s joining the opposition to defeat UMNO was ‘very surprising’. His burying the hatchet with Anwar Ibrahim is also surprising, they say. -/TISG