PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday (Feb 21) said that "no date" has been fixed for the leadership transition to his successor, Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Anwar Ibrahim.
“I’ve already said (it’s) after the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit (in November). No time … no date … nothing. It’s up to me to determine the date,” he told a press conference after chairing a meeting of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya.
Dr Mahathir, who is the PH chairman, said it was a unanimous decision made at the meeting.
The meeting, which lasted about three hours, was attended by party president Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Mr Anwar, Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.
When he was asked if it was also agreed that Anwar would be the eighth prime minister, Dr Mahathir said: “That doesn't arise. The position is for me to make the decision after APEC.”
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Mr Anwar, who was seated next to Dr Mahathir during the press conference, said: “I myself suggested that Tun Dr Mahathir be given the space to administer and when the time comes (for the handover) ... he will fix a suitable date, and in the meantime I have to be patient.”
"Our stand is clear, no doubts; our commitment is to ensure that Tun Dr Mahathir as prime minister can discharge his duties with (our) full support. This was not questioned,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Anwar said that he would have no reservations in having Dr Mahathir as part of his Cabinet when he assumes leadership.
“His vast experience would certainly help in getting a more peaceful transition and steering the economy forward," he had said.