"I'm 94, In A Few Months, I'll Be 95. Mana Boleh Tahan?"
On 14 February, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made it clear that he has no plans to remain in office until the end of his term
Reiterating that he will keep his promise to hand over the post to Anwar Ibrahim later this year after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Kuala Lumpur, Dr Mahathir reportedly quipped that there are people trying to get him to lead for another 22 years, despite him turning 95 in July this year.
I'm 94, in a few months, I'll be 95. Mana boleh tahan?
The Langkawi parliamentarian, who was first appointed prime minister in 1981, retired in 2003, only to return to the office in 2018, told Malaysiakini that "how can I work that long?" when asked to comment on the claim that he has the support of 138 Members of Parliament to remain in office until the end of his term.
He did, however, acknowledge that there were attempts by the opposition and several leaders in the ruling coalition to influence the power transition plan as claimed by Anwar on Thursday, 13 February
"I promised to step down after the APEC summit. I will keep my promise," he said, adding that he is not involved in "kegiatan lain" (other activities) to round up MPs to support him for a full term.
Dr Mahathir said that whatever statement Anwar made after their meeting was "betul" (true).
The statement from the Prime Minister comes amidst reports about PAS and UMNO along with and a small number of politicians from PKR allegedly banding together to table a "vote of confidence" motion
According to a report in Free Malaysia Today (FMT) yesterday, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang claimed that they want to "save" not just "Malays and Muslims, but the other races, too".
Although Dr Mahathir made it clear that he will hand over the post this year, PAS remains adamant about tabling the motion with party deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man saying they will "continue".
"The people have the right to know who will lead the nation. The post of the Prime Minister is the right of the people and not something which belongs to a certain party," New Straits Times quoted him as saying.
For what's it worth, though, both Dr Mahathir and Anwar have kept a united front with the two leaders meeting in Putrajaya on Thursday to discuss the succession plan.
Last year, Dr Mahathir had remarked on a video clip showing Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim telling a crowd they should "change the PM":