PETALING JAYA: Two PPBM Supreme Council members have called for patience in the wake of a statement by PKR MP Hassan Karim that Dr Mahathir Mohamad should step down as prime minister for failing to address issues concerning race, religion and the royalty.
Under a deal struck by Pakatan Harapan (PH), Mahathir is supposed to hand over power to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, although no time frame has been set for this.
But Tariq Ismail said it was “premature” to ask Mahathir to give way to Anwar at this juncture.
“We need a fighter like Tun to spearhead this nation and get the economy back on track,” he told FMT.
“What will happen if Anwar comes in now and the same old problems continue? I’m sure Anwar wants a smooth-sailing economy so he can concentrate on governing rather than politicking.”
Tariq added that issues of race and religion would only crop up if the economy was neglected.
He urged ministers and MPs to focus on their jobs, saying politicking should be reserved for election campaigns.
“Hassan needs a chill pill. Be patient and help our PM steer the ship, don’t lead a rudderless boat with mutineers.”
Entrepreneur Development Minister Redzuan Yusof also urged Hassan to remain calm.
“Tun is rebuilding the foundations to consolidate PH’s rule, and to make the job easier for his successor, Anwar,” he said.
PKR’s Wong Chen agreed that Mahathir should not step down immediately. However, he said he understood where Hassan was coming from.
The Subang MP said the claims of “secret meetings” with opposition leaders, the seemingly slow pace of reforms and the lack of commitment on the transfer of power would test, and might even break, the PH coalition.
“Things are not going great, so Tun has no reason not to hand over power to Anwar in May 2020,” he said.
He told FMT that reaffirming the commitment to the transition plan would allay the concerns of the public and business community.
“He must also bring Anwar into a senior Cabinet position very soon, to manage a smooth transition,” he said.
Another PKR leader, William Leong, said the public was split over several key issues including khat and Lynas.
The Selayang MP urged Mahathir to discuss and resolve such issues with the PH leadership.
“At this point in time, everyone should get together and work towards what the people want.”