No handover date, it’s up to me, says Dr M after PH meeting

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim responds to a question from a reporter as Dr Mahathir Mohamad says it is up to him when to step down as PM during a press conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya tonight.

PUTRAJAYA: Pakatan Harapan’s top leaders today agreed not to fix a specific date for Dr Mahathir Mohamad to hand over power to Anwar Ibrahim.

“The agreement is that it is up to me when to resign,” Mahathir told reporters today.

At the same conference, Anwar said he too agreed with the decision.

“In the meantime, I will have to be patient,” the PKR president said. 

Anwar also said there was no doubt in the coalition’s commitment to fully support Mahathir as long as he is prime minister.

When pressed further, Mahathir reiterated that the decision to resign was up to him, reaffirming that the transition of power will take place after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November.

Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail holds her husband Anwar Ibrahim’s arm at the end of a press conference to announce that PH leaders agreed to let Dr Mahathir Mohamad decide when he would step down.

“No time, no date, no nothing — after Apec,” he said, adding that it was a unanimous decision by the PH presidential council.

He said a possible Cabinet reshuffle was not discussed in the council meeting. He dodged questions on remaining in the top post for the full term, telling reporters that his decision will be on resigning.

Six top PH leaders had held a meeting before the council met earlier tonight, comprising Mahathir, Anwar, PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and PH president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

The prime minister, who returned to the top post following PH’s victory in the 2018 general election, had repeatedly stated that he would keep his word to step down after about two years and relinquish the post to Anwar.

Various parties and MPs have urged Mahathir to set a clear date for the transfer of power to Anwar, leading the PKR president to call on PH members to refrain from discussing the transition of power in public.