Mahathir says he can be sacked if Pakatan Harapan no confidence in him as PM
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Nov. 20 that Pakatan Harapan can sack him if they want.
He was responding to calls for him to step down and hand over the baton to Anwar Ibrahim immediately.
The 94-year-old Bersatu chairperson made his comments during a press conference at the party’s headquarters in the evening.
He was asked by reporters if a quick transition between him and Anwar would solve leadership issues in the PH coalition.
“Well, it is up to the party,” Mahathir said.
“They (PH presidential council) can sack me if they want to.”
By-election defeat a sign of rebuke
Growing calls for Mahathir to speed up the power transition to Anwar came after PH’s devastating loss in the Tanjung Piai by-election a week ago.
The PH presidential council had consented for Anwar to be the next prime minister.
However, according to Mahathir now, such transition would create problems if it occurred “midstream”.
He said the impact on the country and government is very important, even though it is not important what happened to him.
Mahathir said: “The thing is that if you have changes midstream, it is very confusing. It creates a lot of problems.”
“But of course if I’m sacked I don’t know. But I think I need to be serious about this thing.”
“What happens to me is not something important. But what happens to the government and the country is really important.”
Anwar said earlier on the same day that there would not be an attempt to move a vote of no confidence against Mahathir at the parliament.
Asked what he thought about that, Mahathir sarcastically said: “Thank you.”
He subsequently added that anyone can move a vote of no confidence as Malaysia is a democratic country.
Mahathir said: “You can do whatever you want. We are democratic party, democratic nation.”
“You can move a vote of non-confidence, or you can move a vote of confidence.”
Mahathir kept up his sarcasm as he said he believed there are still those who liked him.
He quipped: “So far nobody punched me in the nose yet.”
He was asked for his comments regarding the level of support he commands in PH today.
Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, who is known to favour Mahathir over Anwar, reportedly holding a meeting with opposition Umno MPs on Monday evening.
This added to more speculation about leadership issues in the governing coalition.
Mahathir denied he was behind PKR deputy president Azmin’s meeting with the group of Umno MPs.
“Maybe I’m a dictator, but I didn’t dictate this time,” he said.
He maintained that he had no knowledge about the purpose of the meetings, adding that any conflict within PKR should be handled within the party.
Anwar is PKR president.