Prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said there is “no date” has been fixed for the leadership transition to his named successor, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.
He said the Pakatan Harapan presidential council has given its full confidence in him to set the exact date to hand over the government to Anwar, reiterating only that it will happen after the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in November.
He added that the council has unanimously agreed to leave the time frame for the power transition to him.
“We have discussed this at length. I don’t have to repeat what we decided on. There were two opinions and in the end, it was all left up to me. What I say they will follow.
“As I said, the power transition will happen after Apec. No time, no date, no nothing. After Apec,” he was quoted as saying.
Asked what will happen if Dr Mahathir refuses to vacate his position after the summit, the 94-year-old simply said: “That’s up to me.”
Also when asked whether Anwar would still be appointed as prime minister, Mahathir said that such a question did not arise during the meeting.
Also present at the press conference, Anwar has voiced his full support for Mahathir to decide the date for the transition of power, which is expected to take place any time after in Novembern after the Apec.
The Port Dickson MP said he will have to be patient for Dr Mahathir’s decision and announcement.
“Our stand is clear. There is no question of our commitment to ensure that Tun Dr Mahathir as the prime minister will be able to carry out his duties with our full support.
“We will then have another discussion. I myself said that Tun Mahathir must be given the opportunity to govern and when he has determined the proper time, only then [will the transition happen].”
Meanwhile, deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the government will focus on addressing problems and issues facing the country, especially the impact of the Covid-19 infection on the economy, rather than on the power transition.
She said the matter on the handing over of the prime minister’s post had been agreed at the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting last night.
“We govern the country… to rectify and improve as much as we can (the situation). We are now facing the Covid-19 cluster, how we are going to handle it because the spread of the virus has a negative effect on the country’s economy.
“So we will all focus on the impact of Covid-19 on the country. The issue on the power transition had been agreed to last night and it was set after Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation).”