PAS will move for a “vote of confidence” motion in the Dewan Rakyat to support Dr Mahathir’s leadership and for him to serve as prime minister until the end of his five-year term.
This was announced by PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan at a joint press conference after the party’s monthly meeting at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.
Such a proposal digresses from the promise made by Mahathir that he would hand over power to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.
“We see a need for him to stay on as prime minister until the end of this term. However, there appears to be a never-ending crisis and this has disrupted the political scenario and economy,” Takiyuddin said.
The PAS men claimed that their decision was made after several parties had “expressed dissatisfaction” with the prime minister’s leadership, but a no-confidence motion had not been filed yet.
They added that the proposal was to end uncertainties over the promised transfer of power between Mahathir and Anwar which they say is now interfering with the country’s political and economic stability.
“This proposal needs to be discussed so that we can see just how much the prime minister has received the support of the MPs,” Tuan Ibrahim said.
For the record, Parliament’s next sitting is on March 9.
“If there are people who are not happy with the PM, they should have brought on a vote of no-confidence. But since none has come forward, we are putting a vote of confidence in place. If a no-confidence motion is proposed, we will withdraw ours, said Takiyuddin explaining his party’s decision.
“Now, it’s just empty talk that this prime minister has no support, and other people have the support to become prime minister,” he added.
PAS had previously openly expressed their support for Mahathir to stay as prime minister until the Pakatan Harapan term ends in 2023.
Asked if PAS has informed Umno about its plan, Tuan Ibrahim said the party will talk to its Muafakat Nasional partner later. However, he is confident Umno will support a vote of confidence in Mahathir’s leadership.
Tuan Ibrahim also said today’s meeting did not discuss the “Pakatan Nasional” issue. “Pakatan Nasional is a term that suddenly popped out without any discussion. We are also not involved,” he said.
The claim that a new coalition is in the works was made by Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam who, earlier this week, accused party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of supporting the proposal to escape corruption charges.
On Jan 20, it was reported that there could be a new political realignment that could thrust PAS into federal power, following several private meetings between PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Mahathir.
It said the new alignment would bring together forces aligned to Mahathir with the clout that the Islamist party holds in the northern Malay heartland, with dire consequences for DAP and Anwar.
The transfer of power to the prime minister was agreed upon before the general election in May 2018, with the agreement that Mahathir would be prime minister before handing over power to Anwar, but without specifying a timetable for the transition.
While Mahathir had said he will hand over power to Anwar, he has declined to name a firm date on the transition. He also accepted Umno defectors into his Bersatu party and remained silent when his supporters called for him to serve a full term.
Anwar’s supporters have become agitated and are urging Mahathir to hasten the transition of power and a clear date of his resignation.
Their calls became louder after Pakatan Harapan suffered a series of by-election defeats.