PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali has urged Ampang voters to support Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in continuing to lead the country amid speculation of a “Pakatan Nasional”.
“Stop politicking as there is already too much politicking in this country,” Azmin said in his speech at the Ampang Chinese New Year celebrations tonight.
“Please support Dr Mahathir to lead the country and rebuild the economy following the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“Let him lead so that after Apec, Malaysia can emerge as a country that can compete again,” Azmin, who is also economic affairs minister said, referring to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in November.
Although Azmin holds the Gombak parliamentary seat and Bukit Antarabangsa state seat, he was one of the main VIPs at the Ampang function as the seat is held by one of his lieutenants, PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin.
But despite complaining about unnecessary politicking in the country, Azmin began his speech by welcoming Gerakan president Dominic Lau, a party he has been linked to.
“After this, there will be all sorts of stories,” said Azmin.
It has been speculated that Azmin may join Gerakan as he wages a power struggle with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.
While Azmin has complained about unfair appointments to the PKR central leadership committee, Anwar’s followers alleged that the former heads a group set on keeping Dr Mahathir in power for a full term at Anwar’s expense.
The speculation re-emerged this month after it was revealed that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi suggested working with Dr Mahathir to form a Pakatan Nasional pact.
And, adding fuel to the speculation, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang also said his party will moot a motion of confidence in Parliament for Dr Mahathir to continue leading the country. – February 16, 2020.
PKR MP hammers Dr M ahead of Harapan meeting to decide on transition
PKR’s Selayang MP William Leong, at a forum on the transition plan in Damansara today, claimed that Mahathir had not changed from his “dictatorial” ways.
“The people have given him the chance to show that he is a changed man but unfortunately, after one and a half year, he has not changed,” he said.
Leong also suggested that the need for a “Plan B” on the transition plan, suggesting that demonstrations could be an option.
“We have gone to the streets in the past. I am not asking people to go to the streets (now) but we want that spirit,” he said.
Harapan had endorsed Mahathir as its leader in the last general election on condition that he eventually transfers power to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim who was at the time in prison. However, no timeline was set.
Also present at the forum were author Shahbudin Husin and former PKR Youth chief Ezam Mohd Noor who defected to Umno and became a senator but had since quit the party.
Ezam, in his speech, accused Anwar’s deputy Azmin Ali of being part of a movement to gather statutory declarations (SD) from MPs to thwart the transition plan and have Mahathir as prime minister for a full term.
“He is busy collecting signatures, no wonder the economy is tanking. How is the economy not damaged? We cannot compromise with this,” he said. Azmin is also the economic affairs minister.
Ezam (above) also claimed that people were whispering in Mahathir’s ears to convince him to stay on as prime minister.
PAS is also pushing for Mahathir to stay on for a full term and wants to initiate a vote of confidence.
On Friday, Mahathir said there were people who wanted him to stay on as prime minister for another “22 years” but assured that he would leave after the conclusion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Kuala Lumpur in November.
Meanwhile, Shahbudin criticised PAS for what he claimed is the party’s failure to act as an opposition party.
“PAS is supposed to act as a check and balance but is now becoming an apple polisher.
“They are apple polishing more than Harapan itself,” he said.
Harapan is set to meet on Feb 21 in a bid to put to rest the uncertainties surrounding the transition plan. – MALAY MAIL
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT / MALAY MAIL