Anwar says tensions during discussions are normal
Published on: Sunday, February 23, 2020
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KUALA LUMPUR: It is normal for tensions within a democratic discussion, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today following reports that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia threatened to quit the Pakatan Harapan if Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is pressured into stepping down.

The PKR president explained that in a democratic discussion, where everyone is allowed to air their views, it is normal for the discourse to get tense.

“If the meeting is democratic, it is normal for this to be tensed. I don’t think it is an issue,” he said.

“What is important that is that no one would question the power transition, no one questions our decision, no one questions Mahathir as the seventh PM, Anwar is the eighth PM.

“It is just that at this time we need to think of the right time and leave that to Tun Mahathir’s wisdom,’’ he added.

The coalition leaders reached a consensus during the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council meeting last night to let Dr Mahathir set the date for the transition of power to Anwar, which is expected to take place any time after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in November.

Earlier, a news portal reported quoting anonymous sources, that Bersatu had threatened to leave the coalition, leading Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu to say that Amanah is used to being in the opposition.

Meanwhile, 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,” he said.

“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].

Dr Mahathir, who is the PH coalition chairman, told reporters that the council had unanimously agreed that he alone should determine when to step down from office.

Speculation had been rife among PKR members and Anwar supporters that their president was going to play hardball at the council meeting and demand the deputy prime ministership currently held by his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Many of Anwar’s supporters have been demanding Dr Mahathir hand the reins of power to Anwar before November, in light of their pre-election promise made in 2018.

Anwar was seen to play it coy in demanding a definite date while some political pundits have claimed Dr Mahathir will never pass the baton to Anwar and that both should seek a compromise to the succession plan.


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