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'Bersatu quit threat': Tensions in democratic talk is normal, says Anwar

22 Feb 2020, 5:25 pagi

Updated 2 months ago

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PKR president Anwar Ibrahim said tensions in democratic discussions are normal in reference to Bersatu's purported threat to quit Harapan if Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was pressured into setting a date to step down during the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting last night.

Sources had told Malaysiakini that Amanah and DAP leaders had pressured Mahathir to set a date but Bersatu warned that the party could pull out of Harapan, which could threaten the collapse of the current coalition government.

Asked about this, Anwar did not deny the alleged incident but said that tensions were normal as everyone was free to speak their mind during the meeting.

"If a meeting is democratic, there would be some tensions, that's normal... I don't think it is an issue.

"What is important is that no one questions the transition (now), no one questions Mahathir as the seventh prime minister and Anwar as the eighth prime minister.

"It is just that we will need to think of a suitable time and we leave that to Mahathir's wisdom," he told journalists in Bangi today.

Asked about claims that Mahathir could not be forced into setting a date as Anwar did not have the support of enough MPs, Anwar dismissed this as "propaganda".

"That's normal propaganda, such is the case in politics," said the Port Dickson MP.

After a two-and-a-half-hour meeting last night, the Harapan presidential council finally agreed to allow Mahathir to set the date of his own choosing to hand over power to Anwar.

Mahathir has previously said he needed two to three years as prime minister. Amid calls for a clearer timeline, Mahathir said he plans to hand over power after the Apec meetings but has not given an indication how long after the Apec summit.

In the last general election, Pakatan Harapan agreed to appoint Mahathir as its leader on condition that he eventually hand over power to Anwar who was at the time in prison.

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