Anwar says after meeting with PM Mahathir that power transition remains unchanged

Malaysian MP Anwar Ibrahim said both he and Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad agreed that the power transition agreed by Pakatan Harapan remains intact. PHOTO: ANWAR IBRAHIM/FACEBOOK

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian MP Anwar Ibrahim, president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), said he met Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Nov 21) and both leaders agreed that the power transition as agreed by the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition remains unchanged.

The half-hour meeting took place amid tensions in the four-party PH, with renewed pressure for Tun Dr Mahathir to step down quickly and pass the premiership to Datuk Seri Anwar following the coalition's crushing defeat in a Johor by-election last week.

Dr Mahathir's supporters in PKR including the party's deputy president Azmin Ali and Umno's former vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein on Monday met for dinner with about 20 Umno MPs, raising chatter of a looming vote of confidence in Parliament.

Responding to media questions about the power transition and talk of a vote of no-confidence against him in Parliament, Dr Mahathir, 94, said on Thursday that PH "can sack me if they want".

Dr Mahathir said after chairing a meeting of his party: "We are a free, democratic party and country. Anybody can move a vote of no confidence, or even a vote of confidence for me."

Mr Anwar, 72, in a series of tweets on Thursday, said he had met Dr Mahathir and both agreed that the power transition agreed by PH remains intact.

PH had generally agreed that the prime ministership would be handed to Mr Anwar after about two years from May last year, when PH unexpectedly ousted Barisan Nasional in the general election.

Dr Mahathir had at various times indicated that he might stay on beyond two years.

His supporters including those in opposition parties Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) wanted him to complete the five-year term.

Mr Anwar said on Twitter: "In the meeting, I sought the prime minister's agreement to issue a statement on several issues.

"I informed (him) that the power transition must be carried out in a peaceful and orderly manner, in a reasonable timeframe and obtain mutual understanding."

He added: "We also do not agree in the case of any effort to stray from the agreement or the use of my and the prime minister's name in any scheme."

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