Dr M as PM a collective PKR decision, no change to his leadership timeline, says party sec-gen

R. Loheswar
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya June 25, 2019. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, June 25 — PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail today reiterated that nobody in PKR is pushing for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down as prime minister to make way for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s ascension within the next two years.

Saifuddin said the party had collectively agreed to Dr Mahathir — who is from Bersatu — as prime minister when the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition defeated Barisan Nasional (BN) in the general election last year.

“Four months before the 14th general election, the party had already agreed to put Tun as the prime minister and there is no change to this timeline,” Saifuddin told reporters here after a news conference on living costs at the Prime Minister’s Office.

“People are entitled to their opinion, we can’t stop them, but the decision to make Tun the prime minister was a party decision.

“Even Anwar, in his many meetings with Tun has said there is no issue with the arrangement,” he added.

Saifuddin was asked his comment on Dr Mahathir’s recent reported remark that he will step down mid-term for Anwar.

US broadcaster CNBC reported the 93-year-old saying he would relinquish the PM post in three years instead of two, though Dr Mahathir has since denied making that claim.

Saifuddin stressed that the government leadership succession plan was decided in January 2018 during the party’s two-day convention in Shah Alam, Selangor and remains unchanged.

“In this matter, I appreciate the media’s interest in following it; however, the decisions on succession was made on January 6 and 7 last year and was agreed by everyone,” he said.

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