DR Mahathir Mohamad must not be questioned anymore about the succession plan for the prime minister’s office, the successor-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim said today.
The PKR president said all parties, including the media, should stop pressuring the prime minister on when he would hand over power.
“At every press conference, CNN will ask Dr Mahathir when he will retire. I don’t take this lightly. Please stop this. Let him continue to serve,” Anwar said during a question and answer session at the APEX Leadership Conference, in Kuala Lumpur today.
He said Dr Mahathir had already promised to hand over power as agreed between the Pakatan Harapan leaders.
“He also wishes to serve the people.”
He said it was unfair to keep pressuring Dr Mahathir on his retirement as he had already made a promise.
Anwar said the succession issue was “not about what I want” but what the country needed.
“The country needs the people to be confident, it needs new policies and it needs to strengthen the economy.”
Anwar was responding to a request for comment on the transition of power.
The issue has hounded both leaders, who have repeatedly said it will take place as agreed before the end of Pakatan Harapan’s five-year term.
However, there have been variations in the timeline, with Anwar recently saying “by mid-2020” in one interview, after which Dr Mahathir when asked had said he needed “three years”.
The lack of a specific date has fuelled much speculation and accusations by Dr Mahathir’s critics that the nonagenarian leader could not be trusted to honour his promise to make way for Anwar.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT