KOTA KINABALU: The issue of power transition between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim drew a mixed reaction from local political analysts.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah academician Dr Romzi Ationg said he would prefer for Dr Mahathir to keep his promise to relinquish his position as prime minister to Anwar, who was once his deputy.
“Tun M (Dr Mahathir) should give up the premiership according to the promise (made) during the 14th General Election (GE14). If he fails to do so, then the rakyat will be more unhappy with the current government.
“In the case of Sabah, (I) believe we, Sabahans, should support such move (power transition). There is no reason for Tun M to stay longer as he promised (to hand over the reins to Anwar,” he told New Straits Times when contacted today.
Romzi said delaying the takeover could likely aggravate the disappointment among Sabahans who are interested in a solid solution, due to the significant impact over the economy and socio-politics following the change in leadership.
“Nevertheless, Tun M's influence over Malaysia's politics is declining, but he is gaining support from the member of parliament.”
Another UMS academician Dr Lee Kuok Tiung said he was of the view that Anwar who is PKR president, must earn the people’s mandate through a general election if he wished to take over as prime minister.
Lee said the decision should be made through a democratic process, with Anwar listed as the prime minister-candidate in Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto for the 15th General Election.
He pointed out that the Port Dickson MP did not contest in GE14 but only became an elected representative through a by-election.
“In the current situation, I would prefer to see Dr Mahathir stay (as prime minister).
“I worry that there could be more uncertainty if Anwar were to take over, as support from all MPs from PH towards him as prime minister is unclear. Just let Dr Mahathir finish his term as prime minister.
“Surely those who are in favour of him are eager to see him become the prime minister as soon as possible. But those who are not will prefer to let him (hang around) a little bit longer.”
On the heels of continuous contention on the transition of power since PH’s victory in GE14, Lee said PH should train its focus on the people’s needs instead.
“There are so many public interest issues that they need to address and that should be the priorities, like the latest coronavirus, which affected everybody’s life and our economy.”