Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday told the country and his political partners not to worry, and that he will resign in time.
But this did not stop several political figures, including Anwar Ibrahim the PM-to-be and his wife Deputy PM Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to take potshots at Dr Mahathir.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir once again pledged to hand over his post to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as promised.
He said, “Don’t worry, I’ll resign and give it to Anwar to replace him.
“When I step down, Anwar will definitely become the Prime Minister,” he told a press conference after chairing the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council Meeting, at the al-Bukhary Foundation.
But earlier, he said no one wants to resign as minister hence there was no vacancy even for Anwar.
This did not go down well with the Parti Keadilan Rakyat or Justice Party.
Dr Wan Azizah, referring to Dr Mahathir’s ‘no vacancy’ comment said, “Well, there are no cabinet vacancies. “If the prime minister vacates (his post), that is what was promised, yes?”
Anwar altogether said he had no intention of becoming a member of Mahathir’s cabinet.
He insists he will wait for his turn to assume the leadership based on the Pakatan Harapan consensus.
He also told Dr Mahathir, via the media, “Thanks Dr Mahathir, I did not offer myself to get a ministerial post.”
He was speaking at a press conference after chairing the Reform and Governance Caucus at the Committee Room 2, Parliament House, Kuala Lumpur.
It is obvious that Dr Mahathir’s no vacancy remarks have added fuel to the protracted speculation that Anwar would not succeed the premier.
Some members of the opposition are campaigning hard to stop Anwar in his march to become the next PM of Malaysia.
They offered their full support, surrendering almost completely to Dr Mahathir’s leadership, in an attempt to end Anwar’s PM bid.
But Dr Mahathir also said yesterday “I make a promise, I keep my promise. The opposition said I would not resign.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll resign Anwar will be PM,” he added.
Other Justice Party members are also asking Dr M what he was trying to impart when he said that there was no room for PKR president Anwar Ibrahim in the cabinet.
They call on the prime minister to respect the Pakatan Harapan succession plan under which Anwar is Mahathir’s designated successor.
On the day Malaysia is celebrating its 62nd Independence Day the country is facing growing uncertainty on its leadership transition, analysts say.