No dispute over Anwar as next PM but date not fixed – Saifuddin on 'May 2020'

3 Jan 2020, 7:07 pagi

Updated a year ago


On May 10 this year, Dr Mahathir Mohamad would complete his second year as prime minister, and this had prompted PKR MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad to urge Pakatan Harapan to commit to the transition of power process.

This was in line with previous claims that Mahathir would pass the baton to his designated successor PKR president Anwar Ibrahim after two years in office.

However, Harapan chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah pointed out that there was no specific date for the transition.

In a statement this afternoon, the foreign minister agreed with Nik Nazmi that the coalition should focus on fulfilling its manifesto.

“Over the past 20 months, various efforts have been made to fulfil Harapan's manifesto. I agree that we need to implement and fulfil the manifesto,” he added.

Saifuddin noted that the Harapan presidential council had set up a manifesto implementation committee on July 8 last year which is chaired by senator Liew Chin Tong.

“At the Harapan presidential council, there was no dispute over the agreement on Jan 6, 2018, to appoint Anwar as the eighth prime minister after Dr Mahathir.

“However, the agreement does not specify any transition dates. As such, the date of the prime minister's transfer of power in May 2020 did not come up at all,” he added.

Saifuddin said questions regarding the transfer of power should be returned to the presidential council for discussion so that a decision can be made based on consensus.

He also referred to Mahathir's statement on Dec 10 last year that he intended to remain at the helm until the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Kuala Lumpur this November.

Mahathir had said that he would relinquish the reins to Anwar as promised but once again did not mention a date.

By the end of the Apec summit, Mahathir, who would be 95 this year, would have finished two-and-a-half years at the helm of this current administration.

That is half of the five-year term that can be served by a government without having to call for an election.

There have been calls from various quarters, including PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, for Mahathir to serve out his full term.

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