Azmin: Let Dr M stay on till end of term

(FMT) – Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali today thanked PAS and Umno for their support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad remaining as prime minister until the end of the five-year term, in a move seen as his reservations about Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) promise for Anwar Ibrahim to take over from the veteran politician.

Azmin, who recently traded barbs with his party boss after Anwar’s comments on the gay sex videos targeting the PKR deputy president, said Mahathir was still needed to lead Malaysia as he would ensure “stability, continuity and consistency” in the government’s efforts to attract investors and create jobs.

“I am confident that political stability will ensure the strength of policies and the wisdom of the country, including the concept of shared prosperity that will return Malaysia to being the Asian Tiger,” Azmin said in a statement.

Under a deal struck by PH, Anwar is supposed to succeed Mahathir as prime minister in two years’ time.

Mahathir has repeatedly assured that the handover will take place, saying it is a promise he will fulfil.

PAS and Umno have however urged Mahathir to stay until the end of the five-year mandate given to PH in the last election.

Adding to the call was Mahathir’s former foe Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who recently warned that any transfer of power, if made hastily and too early, could have adverse effects on the people and the country.

“We also see that in the current situation, it is not likely for the prime minister to hand over the post to his successor in the near future because many pledges remain unfulfilled,” Razaleigh said.

Azmin said the statement of support from Umno and PAS reflects a “new page” in Malaysian politics, where the interest of the people trumps partisan politics.

“The mandate given to PH more than a year ago requires stability so that institutional reforms and positive measures to restore the economy can be made.

“The success of this two-pronged agenda will benefit all people, regardless of their political inclinations,” he said.

On Saturday, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said the Islamist party and Umno were in favour of Mahathir continuing as prime minister until the end of the term.

In a report by Harakah Daily, he said PPBM has only 11 parliamentary seats, far fewer than the rest of PH component parties.

“The party seems to be alone. This is why we need to take the same stand as Umno in supporting Mahathir as prime minister until the end of his term,” Hadi said.

“That is our (PAS’) stand – for Mahathir to be prime minister until the end of the term.”