There are two ongoing initiatives to secure sworn statements from PKR MPs – one supporting Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to serve a full term and another reaffirming Pakatan Harapan’s agreement on the transition of power.
This was established after Malaysiakini interviewed a large number of PKR MPs.
PKR parliamentary whip chief Johari Abdul said he initiated the signing of a statutory declaration (SD) which reads, “(I) support Mahathir Mohamad as the seventh prime minister and support Anwar Ibrahim as the eighth prime minister.”
This is a reaffirmation of the Jan 7, 2018 agreement between the four Harapan component parties, where no timeline was set for the transition.
Johari said the SD he prepared for the MPs was a response to an ongoing campaign to secure signatures for another SD to back Mahathir to remain in office until the next general election.
“Around 40 (MPs) out of 50 (from PKR) have signed it. There is a long list,” he told Malaysiakini.
“I initiated this because I want to support Anwar to be the prime minister,” he said, adding that the signatories would be revealed after the exercise is completed.
Quizzed on the need for this when Mahathir agreed to step down after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November, he replied: “That is Tun (Mahathir’s) own business (but) this is among ourselves.”
“He (Mahathir) has his party. But this is my party, I must show loyalty to my president,” he added.
Johari said he initiated the exercise in his capacity as the PKR parliamentary whip and has been approaching MPs nationwide, including those aligned to deputy president Azmin Ali.
On Feb 11, Sarawak Report alleged that MPs “have been pressured to fly in from all corners to Kuala Lumpur over the last 48 hours” to ink an SD to state their support for Mahathir to serve out a full term.
Apart from Umno, PAS and Bersatu, the article claimed that PKR MPs aligned to Azmin – whose ties with Anwar are strained – had also inked the document.
Anwar later said there was a “cunning plot” to keep Mahathir in power and scuttle the transition plan. After the duo met last week, the PKR president said the latter was not involved in the “plot.”
The transition plan is expected to be the main agenda of the monthly Harapan presidential council meeting tomorrow night. This is the first council meeting since November last year.
Speculation of a collapse of the transition plan was fuelled by the revelation that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (photo) sought support from party leaders to forge a deal with Mahathir.
PAS added more intrigue by planning to move a motion of confidence for Mahathir to stay on for a full term during next month’s Parliament sitting.
Some refused to sign either SD
When contacted, Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid and Lubuk Antu MP Jugah Muyang revealed that the pair signed the SD drafted by Johari.
“I want to save the country and party. I want to ensure everything is in order and the implementation of the GE14 manifesto,” said Abdullah.
Jugah said he inked the document to state his support for Anwar to be the next prime minister and Harapan to honour the transition promise.
“I signed the document last Sunday,” he told Malaysiakini.
Jugah said “the other side” had also approached him to sign the SD backing Mahathir but he refused to do so.
Padang Serai MP M Karupaiya said Azmin’s political secretary Muhammad Hilman Idham had sent him a text message but did not mention the SD.
“I did not meet him. He texted me approximately a week ago to greet me. He also asked if I was in Kuala Lumpur. But I replied that I was in Sungai Petani. That was it,” he said.
“I respect all leaders. But I support Anwar as the prime minister to replace Mahathir. I am not for sale,” he added.
Karupaiya said he was aware of the SD in support of Anwar as well but has not seen it as yet.
SDs not enough
Meanwhile, Tebrau MP Steven Choong said “both sides” had met him but declined to reveal details.
“In the meeting, I told them that I won’t sign the SDs as the move was against the people’s will. The people want the (ruling) parties to decide,” he added.
Choong said both sides told him they commanded the majority in Dewan Rakyat, but he was not convinced.
“If you command the majority, you will act straight away, and you don’t have to see me. I declined to sign (the SDs) as I don’t know what I am signing into,” he told Malaysiakini.
As for the SD in support of Anwar, he said the PKR president must at least outline the conditions he would fulfil, including the manifesto in order to obtain his signature.
Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim, on the other hand, said he was not approached.
He, however, felt there is no need for a signature campaign as Mahathir promised in good faith to step down after the Apec summit.
“Furthermore, the timeline of the transition of power will be decided. Why do you need the SD? Just follow the (consensus) of the parties,” he added.
Ranau MP Jonathan Yasin declined to reveal if he signed any SD but felt that Mahathir should continue as prime minister.
“He has done a good job. I think it is okay (for him) to continue unless he siphons money to other countries, or he steals money. Or, he is not competent as a premier. Then, it is time for him to resign.
“But if nothing is wrong with him and there is no proof that he committed anything wrong. What is the problem?” he asked. – Malaysiakini