Dr M says unsure if nation ready for power transition now

(FMT) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he is unsure if Malaysia is prepared for a transition of power following criticism aimed at him in the wake of Pakatan Harapan’s devastating loss in the Tanjung Piai by-election over the weekend.

“But when the time comes, we will decide,” the prime minister said after officiating the Southeast Asia Multaqa Ulama here today.

His statement is likely to lead to a fresh round of speculation as to when he intends to hand over the reins to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim as promised.

Mahathir was responding to former PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali’s claim that the loss the ruling coalition suffered was a referendum on his government.

Barisan Nasional’s Wee Jeck Seng won the by-election by over 15,000 votes in a six-cornered contest against PH’s Karmaine Sardini, Wendy Subramaniam (Gerakan), Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz (Berjasa) and independents Faridah Aryani Abd Ghaffar and Ang Chuan Lock.

The loss also led to several PH MPs pinning the blame on Mahathir and calling for him to resign.

Asked to comment on this, Mahathir said:

“Maybe it is my fault.”

Under a deal struck by the PH leadership, Anwar is to succeed Mahathir as prime minister at an unspecified date after the coalition took over Putrajaya last year.

Earlier this month Mahathir pledged to step down as prime minister before the next general election.