Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has reiterated that he will step down after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Kuala Lumpur in November.
He acknowledged today the rumour that a majority of MPs could support a motion for him to remain as prime minister for the remaining term.
But his response remains the same: He will quit after chairing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit here in November.
“I’m 94, in a few months, I’ll be 95. Mana boleh tahan? (how can I work that long?),” Malaysiakini quoted him as saying.
Mahathir’s latest reassurance comes amid a purported plan to block a power transition that would see his former deputy Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim take over as prime minister.
On his meeting with Anwar in Putrajaya yesterday, Mahathir said the PKR president provided an accurate account of what transpired in his media statement later.
“I promised to step down after the Apec summit. I will keep my promise. I’m not involved in ‘kegiatan lain’ (other activities),” he said.
It is understood that the “other activities” referred to the attempt to round up MPs to support him for a full term.
Last week, Opposition party PAS said it would table a motion of confidence in support of Dr Mahathir’s leadership in the upcoming Lower House sitting, a move aimed at keeping the latter in office for the electoral term.
But both Dr Mahathir and Anwar have kept a united front, with the duo repeatedly issuing statements saying the transition of power will proceed as planned.
Anwar’s rivals have also nursed a whisper campaign that suggests PAS could obtain a simple majority of 138 MPs to support the motion. There are 222 federal seats in the Lower House.