Dr M: It's up to me when to step down as PM (updated)

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 22 Feb 2020

PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Pakatan Harapan presidential council has given him full discretion when to step down as prime minister, which will be after the Apec Summit in November.

This was decided by the Pakatan presidential council which met till late Friday (Feb 21).

"I am proud that everyone has left it up to me to decide when I should relinquish my post. I will decide.

"This decision was unanimous. So (as far as we are concerned) tonight, there is no time, no fixed date," the Prime Minister said after chairing the presidential council meeting here.

Dr Mahathir was asked if this was a unanimous decision by council members.

When asked, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the consensus was for Dr Mahathir to continue governing the country.

“Our position is clear - there will not be any interruption. Our commitment is to ensure Dr Mahathir is able to carry out his duties as prime minister with our full support..

“I myself suggested for Dr Mahathir to be given room to lead. When he has decided it is the correct time, then it will happen. Until then, I will be patient, ” said Anwar.

On the upcoming Sarawak elections, Dr Mahathir said: "We are going to decide on our candidates and we must ensure that we don't contest against our own component parties."

On another matter, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia would not be lifting its travel ban on China nationals from provinces affected by Covid-19.

"We are still not convinced we have reached the peak of this Covid-19 situation. So we are watching this situation closely before we make any decision about the ban," he said.

Malaysia has imposed a travel restriction on Chinese tourists from the Hubei, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.

Hordes of media personnel had gathered at the meeting venue at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here as early as 6pm, following talk that Pakatan would set a date for Dr Mahathir to step down as prime minister.

Dr Mahathir had repeatedly said that he would step down after Malaysia hosts the Apec Summit in November.

Prior to the 14th General Election, Pakatan had agreed that Dr Mahathir would be prime minister for two years before passing the baton to Anwar.

Despite Dr Mahathir's earlier assurance that he would relinquish his post after the Apec Summit in November, Anwar's supporters want the agreement for Dr Mahathir to hold the office for two years to be honoured.

On Thursday (Feb 20), PKR’s veteran group Otai Reformist 1998 said it wanted Anwar to become the prime minister in May.

Anwar had said that there should be no pressure placed on him or Dr Mahathir on the issue of the leadership transition.

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