The Star/Asia News Network
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has continuously stressed that he will pass the baton to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, but Opposition representatives have allegedly met him to convince him to serve out his full term.
The issue of whether the 94-year-old will step down mid-term resurfaced recently after PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang pledged his party’s allegiance, warning that “changing a prime minister is not like changing shoes”.
A source claimed that a group of Opposition politicians met with Mahathir on Tuesday night to pledge their full support for him to complete his full term as premier.
The bloc allegedly comprised members of the new Umno-PAS pact and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
“The meeting was held on Tuesday night to tell Dr Mahathir that he has the Opposition’s full support until the next general election, and that they do not agree with him handing over the reins midway to Anwar or anyone else, ” said the source.
Umno, PAS and GPS altogether have 77 seats in the Dewan Rakyat.
The source claimed the Opposition leaders in attendance at the meeting were former Umno vice-president and defence minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, PAS vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Samsuri Ahmad Mokhtar, PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan and GPS chief whip Datuk Fadillah Yusof.
A high-ranking Pakatan Harapan leader who is a Cabinet minister was also present after having been called to join the meeting by Dr Mahathir, the source further said.
The Star attempted to contact a number of the leaders to verify that the meeting took place. It is believed that all of them have been told to keep the meeting confidential.