Speaking at the Doha Forum in Qatar, Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad told the media on December 14 that he might retain his position until 2020. Elaborating on his plans, the PM said that he had to fix some of the major problems that have been left by the previous government. He further promised to step down and give the leadership to a candidate named by the coalition. Mahathir's statement came just four days after he promised to make way for his anointed successor Anwar Ibrahim.
Earlier on December 10, he promised to hand over power to Anwar, in spite of new sexual assault allegations against him, and that he could be ready to do that after a summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries that Malaysia is to host in November 2020. Yet on Saturday, Mahathir said he could not guarantee who would be the best person to be the Prime Minister because of past bad experiences. He added that his successors changed course, took different paths. Mahathir Mohamad came to power in 2018 as the head of a coalition government whose largest party is led by Anwar.
Meanwhile, People's Justice Party leaders have renewed a push for their current President and leader of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, Anwar Ibrahim, on December 8 to take over as the Prime Minister of Malaysia. On the same day, hundreds of delegates reportedly held "Anwar PM-8" placards at the congress. After he was first jailed on what he has said were trumped-up charges of corruption and sodomy, PKR was formed 20 years ago to carry on Anwar's reform agenda. He has been jailed twice, receiving a second sodomy conviction in 2015 and granted a royal pardon last May 2019. A fresh sexual assault allegation was imposed on Anwar, which he denied saying that "politics at its worst".
(With inputs from agencies)