I'm ready to step down whenever Pakatan Harapan wants: Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday said he is ready to give up his post as head of government at any moment if that is the decision of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council.

"I think this will be decided by all four parties together, whether they want me to go or not to go," Tun Dr Mahathir, 94, told reporters after speaking at a forum in Kuala Lumpur. "As far as I'm concerned, if they want me to go, I'll go now," he said.

The presidential council comprises top leaders of the four PH component parties.

Dr Mahathir was speaking in response to a proposal by several MPs from PH member Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) that he hand over the prime ministership to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim who turns 72 in May.

Under an agreement by the four-party PH before the May 2018 general election, Dr Mahathir would be the alliance's prime minister if it won federal power, but that he would later hand over the post to Datuk Seri Anwar, who was then in jail. The exact date of the handover was not decided then. Supporters of Mr Anwar say the handover must be carried out by May, two years after PH won power.

Prime Minister Mahathir had recently said he is committed to passing the baton to Mr Anwar, but not before the Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit, which will be hosted by Malaysia in November.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2020, with the headline 'I'm ready to step down whenever PH wants: Mahathir'. Print Edition | Subscribe