Mahathir, please down gracefully within the agreed timeline

Dear Tun Dr Mahathir,

When Pakatan Harapan won the 14th General Election, there was an opportunity for Dr Wan Azizah Ismail to become the prime minister. As is now widely reported, the king offered her the position of PM because she led the component party with the biggest number of parliamentary seats.

She could have accepted it but she didn’t. Why? Because she is a gentlewoman who stuck to PH’s promise that you would become the interim PM.

At the time, PKR had 47 seats, DAP 42 and Bersatu only 13 (only Amanah had slightly less at 11). Yet, despite Bersatu having so few seats, the rest of PH followed through on the agreement to let you become PM for two years? Why? Because we are gentlemen and gentlewomen. We honour our promises.

So far you have said you will honour your promise too. Yet, you are unwilling to state a handover date. Instead, you say it could be two to three years. And sometimes you say it’s only when the economy recovers (who knows how long that would be)?

Please let me remind you that the promise we gave the voters was not that you would be PM until the economy recovers. The promise was that you would be an interim PM for two years after which Anwar Ibrahim would succeed you.

Recently, there have been some doubts about whether you are serious about sticking to your word. Azmin Ali seems to think you favour him. Now, why and how could he have such an impression? Perhaps it’s because you have given him that impression with your behaviour.

In fact, it’s not only Azmin who has that impression. Anyone who is watching politics has it too. Yes, it’s that obvious, so much so that Malaysiakini feels it’s necessary to point out, in almost every story about the PKR internecine war, that it is widely believed that you prefer Azmin.

Have you done anything to dispel that notion? No, instead you hold “secret” meetings with the opposition, with Azmin supposedly attending as well. Why would you do that but to sow discord within PKR?

Tun, I hope you realize with GE14, you had that very rare opportunity of redeeming yourself in the eyes of the electorate which thinks you did a lot of wrong during the “Mahathir years”.

You played a pivotal role in helping PH win the elections. And many people were willing to give you the benefit of the doubt believing you had changed for the better. With the GE14 win, you were bequeathed with a ton of goodwill.

Tun, please be a gentleman and honour promise to relinquish the post after two years so that Anwar could take over as was agreed. This was what the electorate voted for. They didn’t vote for another 5 years of you as the PM. They voted for you as the interim PM, with Anwar eventually taking over.

Please respect the voters’ wishes and step down gracefully within the agreed timeline.


Ronnie Liu