Go with dignity by May 9, says Syed Husin to Dr Mahathir

(FMT) – Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was urged today to step down “with dignity” by May 9 next year, and hand over to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

Former PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali made the call while speaking at a dialogue session during the convention of the pro-Anwar Otai Reformis 98 group held here.

A resolution adopted by Otai Reformis 98 echoed Syed Husin’s call. The resolution urged that a clear date for the transfer of power be announced, and for Anwar to take over by May 10.

Syed Husin said at the dialogue that the agreed timeline among Pakatan Harapan leaders before the 2018 general election was for Anwar to take over as prime minister after he had obtained a royal pardon for his conviction and jail sentence on a sodomy charge.

Syed Husin said: “At that time, it was written that Anwar is Mahathir’s successor, but it did not note how many months or years.

“What was understood by all parties is that Anwar will take over when he gets his royal pardon. Every party understood that the power transition will take two years.”

Anwar and Mahathir have been at odds over when the change should take place, with Anwar standing by a written agreement among PH leaders that the transfer of power should be made within the first two years of Pakatan Harapan forming the federal government.

Syed Husin said that the question now was whether Mahathir would stick to his promise and hand over to Anwar.

“Now we see him being vague — first he said two years, then he said three years, and then he says by the end of 2020,” said Syed Husin.

He urged Mahathir to “step down with dignity and prudence” by May 9 next year.

Mahathir has come under increasing pressure to hand over power after Pakatan Harapan suffered an overwhelming defeat at the Tanjung Piai by-election earlier this month.

The PH candidate, Karmaine Sardini of PPBM, lost by over 15,000 votes to Barisan Nasional candidate Wee Jeck Seng of MCA.

After the by-election, Syed Husin said the by-election had been a referendum on Mahathir’s government.

Several Pakatan Harapan MPs have also pinned the blame for the defeat on Mahathir and urged that he step down.