PUTRAJAYA, Oct 3 2019 : Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it was difficult to set a date for the country’s leadership transition.
“We have to study the situation. In figures, specific date…if work is half done, or not done, it will be difficult,” he said when asked if there is a fixed date for the leadership change so that the people do not have to worry too much about it.
During a dialogue organised by the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank in New York, last week, Dr Mahathir was reported as saying that he would step down as prime minister before the 15th general election.
“I promise that I would step down before the next election and give way to another candidate. So I may have at the most three years perhaps,” he was quoted as saying.
Under a Pakatan Harapan (PH) pact, Dr Mahathir would be appointed prime minister and would hand over the country’s leadership to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
On calls to expedite the leadership transition, Dr Mahathir said it was never discussed.
It was reported that former PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali had called for the leadership change to be implemented soon and claimed that Dr Mahathir’s intention to step down in at least three years would kill PH because Anwar would not have enough time to campaign and plan his strategy.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the issue on the handover of premiership should not be brought up again as it had already been decided before the 14th general election (GE14) last year.
“The issue should not arise, because we had a prior agreement before we went to the 14th general election, we mentioned the Prime Minister and the next Prime Minister – that was what was promised,” she told reporters after opening the MySTEMI Foundation in Kuala Lumpur today.
She was commenting on the remarks by former PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali who demanded that Dr Mahathir’s transfer of power should be carried out immediately.
Asked whether the transition of power issue would be discussed at the next PH Presidential Council meeting, Dr Wan Azizah said “I think it is agreed upon … what is there to discuss”.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also PH President, said there were other issues that needed to be given attention by the PH government.
“We have other issues … issues of heart disease for example, issues that need to be fixed in our country,” she said. – Bernama