No Choice for Anwar but to Wait Longer

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anwar ibrahim malaysia next prime minister

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had yesterday clearly stated that “it`s up to him” to determine when to step down, the transition date, and who will succeed him.

“It’s up to me to determine the date (of stepping down and transition),” he said at the press conference after chairing the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council meeting that took place last night here at the Perdana Leadership Foundation. 

When asked by the media whether Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council meeting agreed and decided that Anwar would definitely be the eighth prime minister, Mahathir said, “It s for him to make decision on the position” of the next prime minister (after stepping down).”

A day before yesterday grand meeting, Anwar told the media that he advised the people, especially his followers and supporters not to pressure Dr Mahathir to step down or to set a fixed date for transition.

And yesterday, Anwar who was sitting next to the Prime Minister Dr Mahathir at the press conference, admitted that he accepted Dr Mahathir`s decision to step down after the he Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit (in November), and he would wait patiently.

“I myself suggested that Tun Dr Mahathir be given the space to administer.

“When the time comes (for the transition), he will fix a suitable date.

“I have to be patient,” he added.

According to analysts, it is wise Anwar Ibrahim does not challenge the Prime Minister Dr Mahathir or pressure him to step down as soon as possible, especially at this time, because of many reasons:

First, Dr Mahathir is the current legitimate Prime Minister, all decisions and power are at his hand, especially when backed by many opposition MPs from Pas and Umno, plus his party Bersatu and even from some PKR leaders such as Azmin Ali and others to stay in power for the full term.    

Secondly, Anwar and his people cannot go against Dr Mahathir`s decision or force him to step down. Doing so may push Dr M to not recommend Anwar as his successor to Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

According to Malaysia constitution, the king has the absolute power to appoint the Prime Minister.

Anwar won`t be able to become a Prime Minister without Dr Mahathir`s recommendation and advice to Agong.

As PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan recently said in a statement, even though Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad promised PH to hand over the reins to Anwar Ibrahim, the appointment of the prime minister, in fact, is at the sole discretion of the Agong, as stipulated under Article 40 (2) and 43 (2)(a) of the Federal Constitution. This meant that the Agong has the absolute right to choose a prime minister.

Moreover, it was reported that 138 signatures of members of the Parliament (MPs) (out of a total of 222 members) were collected calling on Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad to complete the presidency until 2023.

In January 2018, after winning the general election in May 9 of the same year, Mahathir Muhammad signed an agreement or promised to hand over the power to Anwar Ibrahim after two years (in May 2020).

But Dr Mahathir has changed his mind now and insists to step down only after the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit which will take place in November 2020.

Why after the APEC? — Nobody knows.   

The opposition Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) is calling for Mahathir Muhammed to stay as prime minister for full term, but Mahathir’s reactions show no approval, neither rejection.

Anwar Ibrahim will be the eighth prime minister of Malaysia only if the power transfer agreement works and Agong agrees.

He then has no choice but to patiently wait long to become a Prime Minister.

Malaysia World News


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Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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