There was never a 2-year transition plan, Syed Saddiq tells Syed Husin

The Cabinet’s youngest member today called for a stop to what he said was an “obsesssion with transition” and “excessive politicking”, as he came to the defence of Dr Mahathir Mohamad after the prime minister came under attack from veteran politician Syed Husin Ali.

(FMT) – Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman also denied that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council, of which he is a part, had specified an interim period of two years for Mahathir before handing power over to Anwar Ibrahim as agreed by the coalition before the general election.

“There was never a ‘two-year’ timeline for the transition in the document signed by us. If there is not, why lie to the people? Why insist that Mahathir resign now when there is no such agreement among us?” the PPBM Youth chief, who is also the youth and sports minister, said in a statement.

Yesterday, Syed Husin, one of the pioneer leaders in PKR after its merger with Parti Rakyat Malaysia in 2003, issued a scathing assessment of the PH leadership under Mahathir, following remarks by the prime minister at a forum organised by the Council of Foreign Relations in New York last week.

Mahathir had, among others, said he would step down before the next election, and that he was currently working 18 hours a day in trying to accomplish many goals.

Mahathir also said he would need at the most three years before he could hand over to a suitable candidate.

Syed Husin however said Mahathir’s long woking hours were not bearing fruit, adding that the latter had caused corruption and disunity during his first tenure as prime minister.

Syed Saddiq asked if blaming Mahathir for past mistakes meant Anwar too should be blamed, as the PKR leader was Mahathir’s deputy before his sacking in 1998.

“If Tun M is to blame for everything, does it mean he can claim all credit for developing the nation during his 22-year administration?

“KLIA, the Petronas Twin Towers, Putrajaya, Proton, Sepang International Circuit, UiTM, MRSM, increased Mara scholarships and many others. And we have not included the quality jobs created under his administration,” he said.

Syed Saddiq also said Mahathir’s overseas trips had not gone to waste as alleged by Syed Husin.

He listed what he called “great achievements” that could only be achieved “through the hard work of Mahathir and the civil servants”: the review of the East Coast Rail Link with China, an increase in US and Japanese investments, cooperation with Turkey and Pakistan for a major campaign to fight Islamophobia, and the restoration of rule of law

“Aren’t these beneficial to Malaysia?” he asked.