INDEED, TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT – WILL MALAYSIA BE STUCK WITH MAHATHIR WHO EXCELS IN BACKSTABBING POLITICS BUT DODDERING IN GOVERNANCE: NATION AWAITS OUTCOME OF KEY PAKATAN MEETING TO SECURE DR M’S RETIREMENT DATE IN FAVOR OF ANWAR

PUTRAJAYA: As anticipation intensifies on Pakatan Harapan’s first presidential council meeting this year, PKR parliamentary whip Datuk Johari Abdul (pic) has alluded that the outcome of the meeting could be a pivotal moment for the coalition.

“Tonight is the night,” he told reporters when met at Wisma Putra after attending a Pakatan secretariat council meeting on Friday (Feb 21) evening.

Johari said the leadership transition matter should not be an issue when it is deliberated by leaders in the Pakatan presidential council meeting on Friday night.

“I know our leaders are seasoned players and we have gone through so many hurdles… In fact, when we beat Barisan Nasional, we did it in style and the people were happy.

Johari, who appeared in high spirits, also gave an analogy of the weather in an apparent reference to the presidential council meeting.

“For tonight, the sky doesn’t look very good. But every cloud has a silver lining,” he said.

Following much talk on the power transition in the past week, this meeting will be closely watched to see if Pakatan will actually set a date for Dr Mahathir to step down as Prime Minister.

Those spotted attending the Pakatan secretariat council meeting include Datuk Osman Sapian, Parti Amanah Negara secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Rasah MP Cha Kee Chin.

PUTRAJAYA: Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad is currently chairing what could be the most talked-about meeting of the coalition since it came to power 20 months ago.

Hordes of reporters have been gathered at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here since late afternoon, in anticipation of an announcement on the date of Mahathir’s promised handover of power to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

The top leaders of all four PH parties are present tonight, including the coalition’s president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu, PPBM’s Muhyiddin Yassin and DAP deputy chairman Gobind Singh Deo.

The closed-door meeting is expected to last about two hours.

A group of PPBM members stage a protest outside the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya tonight, calling for Dr Mahathir Mohamad to remain as prime minister.

Under a deal struck by the PH leadership in the run-up to the 2018 general election, Anwar was to succeed Mahathir as prime minister at an unspecified date after the coalition took over Putrajaya.

Mahathir has said he plans to step down after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Kuala Lumpur this November.

Anwar recently indicated that he had no issue with a November handover, and that he was confident of support from MPs.

“You’ve waited 20 years, extending six months doesn’t actually matter.

“If there’s a request to go back to Parliament, of course it can be done, but PH has the majority right now,” Anwar said in an interview with Reuters.

Putrajaya has been abuzz with rumours and speculations over the outcome of today’s meeting, including one predicting a possible break-up of the coalition formed in the run-up to the 2018 general election.

A source had earlier indicated that the coalition would also discuss a Cabinet reshuffle today.

ANN / FREE MALAYSIA TODAY

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