Exactly when will you resign, PKR man asks Dr M

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has repeatedly assured that he will hand over power to Anwar Ibrahim, although he has been tight-lipped on an exact date. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: Kapar MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid has asked Dr Mahathir Mohamad to state clearly when he will let Anwar Ibrahim take over as prime minister.

Abdullah, a member of PKR, said it wasn’t good enough for Mahathir to repeatedly say he would eventually hand over power to the PKR president without being “clear as to the time frame”.

“Saying the reason for the delay is to strengthen the economy may not be rational because the economy is an ongoing problem,” he told FMT.

He was responding to Mahathir’s latest assurance that he would keep his promise on the handover of power.

But the prime minister, speaking in Tokyo, also said no time frame was spelt out when the promise was made before last year’s general election. He added that he would step down after getting the economy back in order.

Umno veteran Shahidan Kassim told FMT Mahathir should be allowed to choose the time of his resignation.

“He’s now on a stormy sea,” he said. “You can’t change the captain during a storm.”

Political analyst Awang Azman Pawi said any call for Mahathir’s resignation should be made only after he had failed to attract investors from the US and other Western countries.

It would be fair to give him another six months, he added. “If the situation remains the same, if foreign investors don’t want to invest, Mahathir needs to rethink his position.”

He said Western countries used to support Mahathir for his anti-China stand but had probably become uneasy with his pro-China policies. He cited Mahathir’s support for Chinese technology company Huawei.

Azman noted that Mahathir was trying to reduce the national debt but he said some people were unhappy because they believed they received more goodies under the previous administration.

He said it would be best for Mahathir to set a deadline for the power transition so that it would be smooth.

He added that Mahathir would have to consider PKR’s interest because it is the biggest party in Pakatan Harapan and its members could feel cheated by what they might see as a delaying tactic.