Nation awaits outcome of PH meeting as rumours swirl over coalition’s future

A mural of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim during their earlier term in the 1990s in a commercial district in Shah Alam. Anwar has been promised the country’s top post under a deal reached by Pakatan Harapan in 2018.

PUTRAJAYA: Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad is currently chairing what could be the most talked-about meeting of the coalition since it came to power 20 months ago.

Hordes of reporters have been gathered at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here since late afternoon, in anticipation of an announcement on the date of Mahathir’s promised handover of power to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

The top leaders of all four PH parties are present tonight, including the coalition’s president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu, PPBM’s Muhyiddin Yassin and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and the party’s deputy chairman, Gobind Singh Deo.

The closed-door meeting is expected to last about two hours.

A group of PPBM members stage a protest outside the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya tonight, calling for Dr Mahathir Mohamad to remain as prime minister.

Under a deal struck by the PH leadership in the run-up to the 2018 general election, Anwar was to succeed Mahathir as prime minister at an unspecified date after the coalition took over Putrajaya.

Mahathir has said he plans to step down after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Kuala Lumpur this November.

Anwar recently indicated that he had no issue with a November handover, and that he was confident of support from MPs.

“You’ve waited 20 years, extending six months doesn’t actually matter.

“If there’s a request to go back to Parliament, of course it can be done, but PH has the majority right now,” Anwar said in an interview with Reuters.

Putrajaya has been abuzz with rumours and speculations over the outcome of today’s meeting, including one predicting a possible break-up of the coalition formed in the run-up to the 2018 general election.

A source had earlier indicated that the coalition would also discuss a Cabinet reshuffle today.