Kadir Jasin: Dr M was firm on power transition plan, Bersatu wasn’t pleased

Kadir Jasin: Dr M was firm on power transition plan, Bersatu wasn’t pleased

After two day of hiatus, during which he was transformed from the Prime Minister into ex-Prime Minister and finally as Interim Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is back to the grindstone.

First thing this morning, he received an unplanned visit by leaders of his party, Bersatu, at his private residence in Sungai Besi.

They had come to plead with him to withdraw his decision, yesterday, to resign as chairman of the party.

He submitted his resignation because he felt that majority of members of the party’s leadership council ‘listened more to his political secretary than him’.

He was referring to the heated debate at the council’s meeting on Sunday during which the future of Bersatu in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) was discussed.

At that meeting, he explained the wide mandate the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council had given him at the meeting on Feb 21.

He appealed to his party leadership not to force him to abandon his principle and renege on his promise (to hand over power to Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim after the November APEC Summit).

By the look of things, he was not treating their appeal as an urgent matter.

It should be so. There are many more urgent matters that require his attention.

These include managing the economy, steadying the capital market, continuing with the proposed economic stimulus package, consulting with top civil servants and meeting leaders of the main political parties.

The last bit of the agenda will help him understand more clearly the extent of support most of them had expressed for him and, from there, to plot the next move.

For instance, are they supporting him because they genuinely want him to continue to lead the country or because they do not want their adversaries to win popular support to become Prime Minister?

If the support in genuine and there was no other contender, he can start forming a new government.

‘National Unity’

Many people are now talking about a national unity government that cuts across the political divide and may even include outsiders.

I remember the days and weeks after the 1969 General Elections (GE) and the riots that followed when national unity governments were formed in many states.

This was expanded to the national level, leading to the formation of the Barisan Nasional (BN) in 1973.

Whatever form of government Mahathir decides on, one thing is sure. The crooks, kleptocrats, the OKTs and the generally corrupt are not welcome. This, he made clear to his party at the Sunday meeting.

The rule of law, the high-profile trials and the reform agenda will continue.

Finally, the current state of affair is a test of our reasonableness as a people and the resilience of our political system.

Who would imagine that one day we would be ruled by a 94-year-old Interim Prime Minister with the blessing of a wise King and the civil servants?

It’s happening now.  

Wallahuallam. Thank you.

This piece was taken from Datuk Kadir Jasin’s blog . He is a Bersatu leader and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s media adviser.