SEREMBAN: Umno’s Mohamad Hasan has questioned the likelihood of Dr Mahathir Mohamad handing over the reins to Anwar Ibrahim in two years’ time as promised, saying the PKR president will likely remain “the longest prime minister-in-waiting”.
“I know our ‘atok’ very well,” he said, referring to the 93-year-old statesman. “He will not give Anwar the post.
“Our ‘atok’ is hard-hearted. Those who dream of (Anwar) becoming prime minister will be disappointed,” he added.
Speaking at a ceramah for the Rantau by-election here, Mohamad said the opposition should be ready for any development, including Parliament being dissolved early.
He added that Mahathir did not have a strong mandate as prime minister with Pakatan Harapan (PH), unlike his first tenure in the 1980s.
“He was chosen from a party that has only 13 seats. He himself said he had to ask for permission from DAP to become prime minister because DAP and PKR hold the majority of seats in Parliament,” he added.
Mohamad, who is Barisan Nasional’s candidate for the Rantau by-election, said the coalition lost the May 9 polls due to a lack of strategy and because of three-cornered fights with parties like PAS.
He also sought to allay concerns within the party over Umno’s alliance with the Islamist party.
“We lost 30 seats in Parliament because of three-cornered fights. If we had this understanding, we would not have lost those seats.
“That is why I am confident that with the understanding we have reached on uniting all Malaysians, especially Malay Muslims, we will be able to wrest the government from PH at the next general election.”
The by-election will pit Mohamad against PH candidate Dr Streram Sinnasamy from PKR as well as independents Mohd Nor Yassin and Malar Rajaram.