(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): Only time will tell whether the 15-month power transition
plan for Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to finally step down as Prime Minister
and hand over the reins of office to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi can work
satisfactorily – or whether it will result in two Prime Ministers and two
Finance Ministers or without a proper Prime Minister and Finance Minister for 15
With Mahathir going on leave for two months after his
current 10-day Mediteranean leave, and at the pace of his overseas trips (he
made 16 overseas trips in the first six months of this
year before the UMNO General
Assembly), it is likely that Mahathir will be out of the country for more than
half of the 15-month transition period.
The only difference is that Abdullah will be the Acting
Prime Minister whenever Mahathir is out of the country.
The power transition plan raises many questions – the
main one being whether it would be more satisfactory for a full and neat
transfer of the Prime Minister’s office and powers
from Mahathir to Abdullah as Mahathir has decided to resign
as head of government. Malaysians
will have to find answers to this question for the next 15 months as well as
However, the other question uppermost in the minds of Malaysians has not been answered either by Abdullah or the UMNO Vice Presidents who spoke at the press conference after the UMNO Supreme Council meeting - why Mahathir had chosen to precipitately announce his resignation at the UMNO General Assembly last Saturday, and unless satisfactory and acceptable reasons are given either by Abdullah or Mahathir, the people will continue to ask it.