PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan’s Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim has urged Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down, in what could signal deepening problems with the ruling coalition in the wake of differences among Cabinet members over controversies surrounding race and religion.
The PKR leader said he was among MPs from PH who had signed a petition urging the Agong to swear in Mahathir as prime minister following the coalition’s general election victory last year, but that it was now time for the veteran politician to resign.
“It is clear that he cannot address many issues facing the country today,” Hassan said in a statement.
“To save the PH government, I believe there is no other way to prevent PH from disintegrating ahead of the Sarawak state elections such as what happened to Gagasan Rakyat, Barisan Alternatif and Pakatan Rakyat,” he added, referring to past opposition coalitions.
He urged Mahathir to emulate Britain’s war-time prime minister Winston Churchill, who handed over power after successfully leading his country against the Germans.
Hassan said Mahathir would always be remembered and respected for leading PH to victory in the 14th general election and a peaceful transition of power.
“But with recent developments and the emergence of many issues which are dividing the people, the time has come for Mahathir to transfer power to Anwar Ibrahim urgently if the PH government is to be saved.”
Under an agreement struck by PH, Mahathir is supposed to hand over power to Anwar, though no time frame had been set for this.
There have been growing calls from those aligned to Anwar for the transfer of power to happen soon.
Mahathir himself has reiterated he will honour his promise to hand over power to Anwar, though he has not been clear on when this will happen.