Stop playing with power, Anwar’s ex-aide urges Dr M

Ezam Mohd Nor, a former aide to Anwar and later a BN-appointed senator, speaking at an Otai Reformis function.

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was urged today to “stop playing with power” and set a clear path for handing over the premiership to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

The call came from Ezam Mohd Nor, a former political secretary to Anwar and former PKR Youth leader, who later became a senator appointed by Barisan Nasional.

Speaking at a gathering held by the pro-Anwar group Otai Reformis this evening, Ezam urged Mahathir to put the nation’s interest first, adding that investors were also looking for a clear roadmap on the transfer of power.

He said Mahathir should “stop the old ways, be a statesman and put the interest of the nation first”.

Ezam added: “He knows what he’s doing, we also know what he’s doing. He has to stop playing with power. This is a transition from one prime minister to another. This is not merely a transition for any position.

“That’s why there has to be a roadmap. It has to be smooth. The keyword is smooth, and we do not see smoothness. And this affects the economy. So, please Mahathir, do the right thing.”

Ezam told FMT later that there were clear signs that Mahathir had returned to “his dictatorial ways”, adding that the people’s dissatisfaction was conveyed through the heavy defeats suffered by Pakatan Harapan at the Tanjung Piai by-election.

This message had gone unheeded, he said.

Ezam was among Anwar loyalists who played a vital role in setting up PKR, but rejoined Umno in 2008 following a fallout with Anwar and the PKR leadership. He was also a PPBM member before resigning about three months later.

Asked why Otai Reformis was ignoring Anwar’s stated wish not to raise the transfer of power, Ezam said Anwar probably had his own reasons in making the statement as he was part of the ruling government,.

However, the people also had their reasons for raising the issue. “Anwar also has to respect and give avenues for the people to voice out what they think,” he said.