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Mahathir: Difficult to fix specific date for handover to Anwar

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has reiterated that the handover of the premiership is an issue that has not been discussed, and that fixing a specific date for this to take place is difficult.

He said the power transition between him and Mr Anwar Ibrahim would depend on how much he was able to accomplish, The Star reported.

"We have to study the situation. It will be difficult to fix a specific date (when) the work is half done or not done," he said on Tuesday.

However, yesterday Mr Anwar insisted that the plan for him to take over from Dr Mahathir had already been discussed by the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

Mr Anwar said the talks took place in January last year but added that the exact handover date was not fixed, the Malay Mail reported.

Mr Anwar said: "I am satisfied with his continued assurance. I guarantee that he will honour the promise of surrendering power to me.

"More importantly, the promise is predicated upon the consensus of Pakatan Harapan. So Pakatan Harapan had decided, prior to the elections."

Last month, in an interview with Bloomberg, Mr Anwar said he should take power around May 2020.

"There's an understanding that it should be around that time but I don't think I should be too petty about the exact month.

"But there is this understanding that he will resign at the appropriate time. "

Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail also said the transition was agreed on before the 14th general election. She said all involved to stop quibbling over the specifics of the plan and that there were more urgent matters in the country that needed attention, the Malay Mail reported.

"This is a non-issue but when it is repeatedly brought upon, it rises. We have many other issues, such as trying to mend the country. Enough!

"It is already agreed upon, no longer needed to discuss this," Dr Wan Azizah, Mr Anwar's wife, said yesterday.