Malaysia’s PM says ‘will go now’ if Pakatan parties want him to make way for Anwar

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad (R) talks to Anwar Ibrahim during Anwar Ibrahim by-election campaign in Port Dickson, Malaysia on October 8, 2018. Adli Ghazali / Anadolu Agency. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14, 2020, Malay Mail. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad offered to step aside today for his named successor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim if that is what all the Pakatan Harapan (PH) parties wish for, Malay Mail reported.

He was responding to yesterday’s news reports citing several PH lawmakers pushing for a solid date in the transfer of government leadership during a public forum in Bangsar titled “Should Malaysia wait until November for transition?”

“I think this will be decided when all the four parties are together whether they want me to go or not. And as far as I’m concerned, if they want me to go now, I will go now,” he told reporters after attending Bank Rakyat’s Inaugural Integrity Forum here.

Dr Mahathir said the decision can always be raised at the monthly PH presidential council, of which he is a member.

Several lawmakers from PKR namely Subang MP Wong Chen, Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Tanjung Malim MP, Chang Lih Kang and Selayang MP, William Leong were reported saying Anwar should be given power before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit scheduled to take place in Malaysia this November.

The power transition from Dr Mahathir to Anwar was said to be one of the agreements made among the PH parties before its shock victory over Barisan Nasional in the May 2018 general election.

Dr Mahathir has repeatedly said he will relinquish the reins to Anwar, who currently holds no government post.

In contrast, Dr Mahathir has since taken on the education portfolio following the sudden resignation of Maszlee Malik on January 2.

Today, Dr Mahathir who is appointed the interim education minister effective January 3 said he has not decided who the permanent minister should be.

“I have not decided yet. I became acting minister of education for a short while,” he said.

He added that making new appointments or reshuffling his Cabinet is not an easy task as he has to ensure the candidate is acceptable to all four parties in the ruling coalition.

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