Anwar Confident of Smooth Power Transition

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Anwar guarantees Dr M will surrender power to him, date talks later

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is confident that there would not be any problem in the process of the transition of power later, as Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has given his assurance to keep his promise.

He said the confidence came about following his weekly meetings with Mahathir and he was satisfied at the continuous assurance made by the prime minister.

“I guarantee he (Mahathir) will honour his promise of surrendering power but the promise is predicated upon a consensus of Pakatan Harapan (PH) and PH has decided prior to the election,” he told reporters today.

On the query that discussions on the period of power transition had never been discussed prior to this, Anwar, who is also Port Dickson Member of Parliament, regarded it as inaccurate.

“There have been discussions on the time frame. To suggest there has been no discussion is not quite right.

“There were discussions of a time frame but it’s open to interpretation,” said Anwar

He said that although there is a clear understanding between him and Mahathir over the succession, there was no date set in their discussions.

Nevertheless, Anwar said the actual date of the transition of power would be discussed later.

He added that PH leaders had agreed that the date would not be stated in public as it could undermine the current prime minister.

Anwar said that he did not see the absence of a specific date as a problem.

“But it won’t stop people from speculating,” he said.

Last week, the media reported that at the dialogue session organised by the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, Mahathir said he would step down from his post before the 15th General Election or three years at the most.

The media also reported that Anwar had told Bloomberg Television that he expected to take over the national administration next year.

When asked to comment on Syed Husin expressing doubts that Mahathir would keep his promise of handing over the reins to Anwar, the PKR president said that was his “personal view”.

“I would say that, overall, his statement is to remind us of our responsibility to make sure that the reform agenda does not derail,” he said, adding that to Mahathir’s credit, he has done his best in “this period of transition”.

When asked if a time frame was needed to be set to allay the uncertainty and anxiety among the business community, Anwar said there shouldn’t be any anxiety.

“Even when I assume the premiership, the broad policies of PH, will remain.”

Anwar also rubbished Syed Husin’s claim that PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu have had their wings clipped.

He said that in his private sessions with Mahathir, he had expressed his views on various issues and the prime minister had been kind enough to listen to them.

“To suggest that the reform agenda is derailed may not be entirely true, but it is okay for an elder statesman like Syed Husin to ensure we keep our idealism intact.”

On Mahathir’s statement that Putrajaya will consider reinstating the goods and services tax (GST) if the “people wanted it”, Anwar said that the prime minister wanted to study the implications of the system.

Mahathir, Anwar said, wanted to compare the effectiveness of the sales and services tax (SST) with the GST.

“My personal view is that we have to study this carefully because our position has always been to review the whole taxation policy and not to be tied essentially to GST.

“But I think a study is required.”