Salahuddin: No timeframe was ever discussed on PM succession

Datuk Salahuddin Ayub says that a timeframe for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to make way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in two years was never discussed by the Pakatan Harapan presidential council.

He was responding to remarks by Pakatan secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, who earlier Tuesday said Dr Mahathir’s term as an interim prime minister was never discussed at Pakatan’s presidential council meeting.

“When we won the election and had the opportunity to form the government, then I think that issue was understood by all leaders in Pakatan – to give ample time to Dr Mahathir, then after that, as stated in the consensus, Anwar would be the eighth prime minister,” said Salahuddin.


PETALING JAYA: Datuk Salahuddin Ayub says that a timeframe for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to make way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in two years was never discussed by the Pakatan Harapan presidential council.

The only decision that was agreed to in the run-up to the 14th general election (GE14) last May was that was that Anwar would be premier after Dr Mahathir.

Salahuddin, who is Parti Amanah Negara deputy president, said that the two-year limit for Dr Mahathir as prime minister was “never discussed”.


“The two years (issue) was never discussed. As far as I am concerned there was no date or time limit that was set.

He was responding to remarks by Pakatan secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, who earlier Tuesday said Dr Mahathir’s term as an interim prime minister was never discussed at Pakatan’s presidential council meeting.

Last January, when Dr Mahathir was announced as the PM-designate for the then opposition coalition, he said he would only be premier until Pakatan – if it won the election – could get a Royal Pardon for Anwar.

Anwar was then serving a five-year sentence for sodomy and did not contest in the election, but was granted a Royal Pardon. He is currently the PKR president and the Port Dickson MP.

“When we won the election and had the opportunity to form the government, then I think that issue was understood by all leaders in Pakatan – to give ample time to Dr Mahathir, then after that, as stated in the consensus, Anwar would be the eighth prime minister,” said Salahuddin.

The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister also said he was comfortable with Dr Mahathir’s speech during Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s annual general meeting (AGM) late last month that he will keep his word and make way for Anwar after two years.

“It is very clear (from his speech) that he will hand over his position to Anwar,” said Salahuddin.

PKR vice-president Dr Xavier Jayakumar also reiterated that the consensus in Pakatan during the formation of the coalition was for Dr Mahathir to lead the party into the election, and he would then hand the reins over to Anwar.

“I think that was the principle on which this whole agreement was done, as far as the formation of Pakatan is concerned.

“So, I think those facts are still there, as far as I know,” said the Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister.

Dr Xavier reiterated that Dr Mahathir’s speeches at the Bersatu AGM and elsewhere indicate that “there will be a replacement”.

“He himself has said that in the next general election, it would not be him who would be leading Pakatan, and that he will definitely hand over the reins according to the agreement that was made prior to the formation of Pakatan,” Dr Xavier said.

He added that since Dr Mahathir has made it clear that he would not be there to lead the coalition in the next election, it would “open the gates for the most promising person at present, which is Anwar”.

Malaysiakini also reported that Amanah strategy director and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad had expressed his confidence that Dr Mahathir would keep his promise to hand over his position to Anwar.

“Tun (Dr Mahathir) will fulfil his promise, and as a Pakatan leader who had witnessed the agreement made, I’m confident he will do as he says,” he was quoted as saying by the portal.

However, Dr Dzulkefly said the Cabinet will discuss the calls made from within Bersatu for Dr Mahathir to remain as prime minister until the next general election.

Dr Mahathir has maintained that he will hand over his position to Anwar after two years.

He said that he will keep his word and will only be a temporary prime minister.

Source: The Star Online

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