PKR member Syed Husin Ali made comments on Saturday (Sept 28) claiming the PH coalition agreed to have party head Anwar replace Mahathir as soon as he was pardoned.
He called Mahathir “unreliable”, and predicted a delayed handover would destroy the coalition.
In response, PH presidential council member Syed Saddiq penned a lengthy Facebook post on Monday (Sept 30), calling Syed Husin “transition-obsessed”.
“Since there isn’t [a two-year clause], why attempt to lie to the public?” he wrote.
Malaysia’s Youth Minister Syed Saddiq has hit back at a People’s Justice Party (PKR) politician on Facebook for making “irresponsible and misleading” statements about Mahathir, calling him “transition-obsessed”.
PKR advisory council member Syed Husin Ali said on Saturday (Sept 28) that a delayed handover between Mahathir and PKR head Anwar would “destroy” the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, local media reported.
He added that the coalition parties had agreed Anwar would replace Mahathir as soon as he obtained a royal pardon.
Describing Mahathir as “unreliable”, Syed Husin added that waiting until the next General Election to do a handover would leave Anwar with no time to campaign for support, crippling the coalition.
In response, Syed Saddiq – also a PH presidential council member – penned a defensive Facebook post on Monday (Sept 30) accusing the PKR member of engaging in “excessive politicking”.
His 23-point, 873-word rebuttal addressed several of the elder statesman’s criticisms of Mahathir, including blaming the PM for Malaysia’s financial ruin, and describing his use of state money to travel overseas as “wasteful”.
Tun Dr Mahathir.1) Saya memohon izin untuk mengupas satu demi satu dan menjelaskan mengapa kenyataan Syed Husin Ali…
In his rebuttal, Syed Saddiq said he had been present at the signing of the PH coalition’s power transition agreement, and had not seen any two-year handover clause dictating Mahathir should make way for Anwar within a set time frame.
“Where was Syed Husin Ali during this?” he wrote in his post. “Maybe he knows better than all of us involved in the presidential council?”
“Since there isn’t [a two-year clause], why attempt to lie to the public? Why urge Tun Dr Mahathir to resign now, even though this has never been agreed upon?” he added.
The minister also bashed Syed Husin for bringing up the topic of succession while Mahathir was away, adding that the PM had repeatedly indicated he would respect the coalition’s decisions around the next Prime Minister.
“Are [Syed Husin’s] demands for [Mahathir’s] resignation as soon as possible (meant) to strengthen the country’s economic position? Of course not,” Syed Saddiq wrote.
“If you really want Tun Dr Mahathir to resign honourably, give him the opportunity to rule the country, instead of constantly urging him to resign,” he added.
Earlier in September, Anwar had begged the media to stop the “embarrassing” practice of asking Mahathir about his resignation at every opportunity, adding that he did not mind waiting “a few more months or years” for the PM position.
Neither Mahathir nor Anwar have committed to a handover formal date, but the latter hinted that it might occur in May next year.