PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has reaffirmed its support for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, amid rumours that parties within the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition were plotting a vote of no confidence against him.
PH comprises PKR, the Democratic Action Party, Tun Mahathir's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and Parti Amanah Negara.
In a press statement issued on Sunday (Feb 24), PKR's central leadership council said the party fully supports the leadership of Dr Mahathir and stands by the coalition's agreement that its president Anwar Ibrahim will replace him after two years.
"We stress that the unity and partnership within Pakatan must be defended. We deny strongly all slander that is trying to instigate the leadership and weaken the strong cooperation among the parties in Pakatan," the statement said.
"We stand by the agreement that was reached and announced on Jan 7, 2018, that Dr Mahathir will be the prime minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail be the deputy prime minister and Anwar take over as the eighth prime minister after a period of two years."
Dr Wan Azizah is Datuk Seri Anwar's wife.
"PKR further stresses that the strength of the party should be channelled towards supporting the Pakatan government to strengthen the economy and solving the problems of the people including that of the issue of living costs," said the council.
This statement comes in the wake of allegations by opposition party Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) that PH parties may move a vote of no confidence against Dr Mahathir in Parliament.
A Facebook post by PAS Youth chief Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi implied that Mr Anwar was linked to the alleged plan.
Last week, the Islamist party said it had pledged support for Dr Mahathir in the event he was betrayed from within PH.
PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said the party had an "inkling" that something was brewing within PH, and this prompted the PAS leadership to discuss the matter with Dr Mahathir during a meeting last week.
The discussion, said Datuk Takiyuddin, resulted in a draft letter in which PAS pledged that its 18 MPs would support Dr Mahathir should a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister take place in the Dewan Rakyat.
PH leaders have denied such a plot exists and said it was an opposition tactic to divide the ruling coalition.