Fearing Harapan breakup, PKR lawmaker wants Dr M to go

14 Aug 2019, 9:24 am

Updated a year ago


PKR's Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim (above) has proposed that Dr Mahathir Mohamad step down after what he claimed was the prime minister's inability to solve several issues.

"I am of the opinion that it is time that Mahathir to step down as prime minister.

"He clearly appears to be unable to handle many issues currently affecting the country," he said in a statement today.

Hassan pointed out that he was among the MPs who had signed a letter endorsing Mahathir as prime minister when Pakatan Harapan captured power in the last general election, and stressed the 94-year-old's contributions will still be remembered and respected.

Hassan said his proposal was in the interest of Harapan amid raging issues involving race, religion and royalty which, he said, in the past had caused the breakup of Harapan's predecessor coalitions three times.

"In light of the recent developments of issues splitting the people, it is time for the transition from Mahathir to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim to be set in motion as soon as possible if Harapan is to be saved," he said.

Hassan said it was Anwar's efforts that galvanised the then opposition coalition.

He pointed out that Semangat 46 had become more "extreme" after the 1995 general election, resulting in the Gagasan Rakyat opposition coalition at the time, comprising Semangat 46, DAP, Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) and Indian Progressive Front, to disintegrate ahead of the Sarawak election due to its inability to deal with racial issues.

Likewise, he said the Barisan Alternatif comprising PAS, DAP, PRM and Parti Keadilan Nasional was dissolved, also ahead of the Sarawak election, when PAS and DAP clashed over racial and religious issues.

"After Anwar was freed from prison, he had travelled across the country to build an opposition coalition ahead of the 12th general election in 2008.

"Anwar's efforts created Pakatan Rakyat which, through the 12th general election in 2008, for the first time saw BN lose power in Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Perak and (PAS retaining) Kelantan.

"Anwar was a force that united the opposition parties comprising various races and religions," he said.

Hassan said when Anwar was sent to jail again, Pakatan Rakyat disintegrated, again before the Sarawak election, as PAS "became more extreme" in racial and religious issues.

"Now, the issue of race, religion and royalty have reemerged in Malaysia's political scene.

"In the latest incident, Mahathir, as the Harapan chairperson and prime minister, appears to have lost direction and will to deal with criticism from various quarters, including Dong Zong, when he accused it of being a racist organisation.

"To save Harapan, it is my belief there is no other way to prevent Harapan from breaking up before the Sarawak election which will be held soon, just as was the fate of Gagasan Rakyat, Barisan Alternatif and Pakatan Rakyat.

"I hope that Mahathir, who is magnanimous, can be courageous by stepping down," he said.

Anwar, who is still in Mecca, has not weighed in on the controversies.

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