Malaysian civil society groups are urging PM Mahathir Mohamad to set a date for when he will hand over power to former rival Anwar Ibrahim. And they want it to be between a year from now to May 2021.
The groups include Bersih, or Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, which was behind one of the country’s biggest protests in 2015 that drew an estimated 300,000 people to a rally campaigning for election reform and anti-corruption. The groups are now seeking a “clear transition package” to restore political stability, which should include Anwar being named deputy prime minister six months ahead of becoming premier.
“With a clear and publicly known transition plan, it would quash rumours and conspiracy theories perpetrated by those who seek to gain from the instability and see the breakup of the coalition,” the groups said in an open letter to Mahathir and the ruling coalition leaders.
Mahathir’s promise hit a stumbling block when a scandal pit two of his likeliest successors, Anwar and Minister of Economic Affairs Azmin Ali, against each other. Mahathir, who pledged to step down only once Malaysia is on stable footing, may extend his stay in power as the ruling party struggles to contain the internal rift.