LANGKAWI: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied involvement in any plan to extend his tenure as the prime minister to a full term and derail Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) prospective succession of powers.
The Langkawi parliamentarian reiterated his commitment to honour the plan to hand over the prime minister’s post to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2020 summit scheduled in November.
Dr Mahathir, who is also the PH chairman, however, acknowledged that there were attempts by the opposition and several leaders in the ruling coalition to influence the succession plan as cited by Anwar in his statement on Thursday.
“He (Anwar) met me and whatever statement made by him is ‘betul’ (true). I am not involved in any other movement (to influence the succession plan).
“I had promised to relinquish my post after (the) APEC (summit) and I will stick to my promise.
“I am not involved with others (any other actions or movement to derail the planned power transition),” Dr Mahathir, who is also the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairman, told reporters, here, today.
He was asked to comment on his Thursday meeting with Anwar, who is also the Port Dickson MP.
Anwar in a statement yesterday raised issues involving efforts from Pas, a group from Umno and a small number of PKR members to collect signatures to support Dr Mahathir’s leadership.
The PKR president had also stressed that Dr Mahathir was not involved in such efforts and that the latter would resign as promised under the power transition plan.
Dr Mahathir was also asked on reports suggesting that a total of 138 MPs had signed statutory declarations (SD) calling for him to serve a full term as the prime minister.
“Today, PH is commanding the majority (of seats in the Parliament). On how they can obtain signatories from 138 (MPs).. it must be the work of others.
“I do not know how can they achieve such a feat. (Or) this means that there are also quarters in PH that support such efforts that they (the culprit) can obtain such figures (total of signatures),” he said.
Pressed further if he was aware of the SD, Dr Mahathir said he had heard many stories.
“(There are stories) that wanted me to stay for the next 20 years. I am 94 and will turn 95 within a few months.”