Dr M admits resistance to Anwar’s takeover, but pledges to abide by deal

(FMT) – Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today assured that he would hand over the reins to Anwar Ibrahim as promised, but added that no time frame had been given for the transfer of power.

He said when the Pakatan Harapan coalition was formed, it was agreed that he should be its leader.

“My term, if I did become prime minister, would be limited to a certain time, but the actual time was not spelt out,” he said in an interview in Tokyo, where he is currently on a three-day working visit.

However, he said he had agreed that Anwar would succeed him as prime minister, and that he would “adhere to the agreement”.

He said there might be some opposition to this, but added that it was “their problem”, not his.

“My undertaking is that I will step down after a certain amount of time to put the economy back in order,” he said.

Mahathir previously said he needed between two and a half and three years to fix problems related to the country’s finances inherited from the previous Barisan Nasional government.

Under a deal struck by the PH leadership, Anwar will succeed Mahathir as prime minister in two years’ time.

Mahathir, who has called himself an “interim prime minister”, said earlier this month that he would not see out a full term.

In February, meanwhile, Anwar said he expects to become prime minister in not more than two years’ time. However, he said Mahathir must be given enough space to govern effectively during “very difficult and trying times”.