TUN Mahathir Mohamad has signed a Pakatan Harapan (PH)-initiated gentlemen agreement to serve as the 7th Prime Minister (PM7) for only a maximum 2 years.
After that, he will pass the baton to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to serve the country as PM8.
Anwar revealed this at the Parliament when debating on Budget 2020 yesterday.
Anwar’s response to queries by several opposition MPs at the August House had provided a clarity on the ongoing speculations over the leadership transition within the PH federal government.
Port Dickson MP Anwar said that “the agreement was prepared, signed and sealed on January 7, 2018” by leaders of all PH allies, including Mahathir.
According to the agreement, Mahathir will become the prime minister while then PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will become the deputy prime minister if PH were to capture Putrajaya in the 14th General Election (GE14) held on My 9, 2018.
Once Anwar is out from prison and eligible to contest in a by-election to become a MP, which he did on October 13, 2018, the leadership transition would take place within a maximum 2 years, which means May 2020.
When the transition of power finally takes place, Langkawi MP Mahathir and Pandan MP Wan Azizah will step aside to pave way for new Anwar’s premiership.
“It’s very clear,” clarified Anwar on PH premiership deal as Iskandar Puteri MP and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang sat quietly next to him.
“Don’t worry,” he said, trying to assuage the curiosity of MPs, who were demanding Anwar to announce the exact date he would become PM8.
“The agreement did not stipulated the time period. There were discussions on one year or maximum two years (for the transition).
“All these depend on the decision of Pakatan leadership, not just me or Tun Mahathir,” he clarified on the gentlemen agreement.
If there was a black and white deal, why then elected representatives from PPBM, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s PKR faction, PAS and even certain segments of Umno are clamouring for Mahathir to serve full term until the next general election, GE15?
Shouldn’t the MPs just honour the premiership agreement and let Anwar take over when Mahathir’s maximum 2 years is up?
Could it be that the 94-year old premier doesn’t want to honour the gentlemen agreement?
It will not be a shocker anyway if he failed to honour the agreement.
Didn’t Mahathir say his government was not obliged to honour and fulfill PH election promises because election manifesto was not a holy book?
Similarly he would not think twice to trash the PH premiership agreement into the bin.
It’s vintage Mahathir if he doesn’t honour the written gentlemen agreement.
Anwar knows Mahathir would not handover the reins so easily since the nonagenarian Mahathir has been lobbying to last full term.
Both Mahathir and Anwar are canvassing support from both sides of political divide to stake their claim.
Mahathir has insisted that he must stay on presumably to accomplish some so-called unfinished businesses such as reducing the country’s debts.
But, former Prime Minister and Pekan MP Datuk Seri Najib Razak revealed that Budget 2020, which was just tabled last Friday, October 11, by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, showed that the PH federal government had only set aside a mere RM100 per year to pay back the current national debts of RM810 bilion.
So what kind of debt reduction Mahathir has been twaddling about?
Lay public accused Mahathir of deteriorating race relations in the country by stirring communal sentiments.
Many in the social media have hit out at him of trying to safeguard his premiership by dividing and ruling the people along racial and religious lines.
The lay public claims that Mahathir has been manoeuvring and manipulating the people and political parties just to keep Anwar out.
The people, especially PH supporters, are asking on whether Mahathir will ever honour the written gentlemen agreement in 7 months time?! – NTHQiBord, 16 Oktober 2019.