Armed forces and police veterans group Patriot today expressed its concern that the protracted premiership succession debate is "overshadowing" the government's reform agenda.
In a statement, Patriot president Mohamed Arshad Raji said that the ongoing power struggle is an "unnecessary and damaging distraction" as well as a betrayal of the people's hope and aspirations.
"We further note that in their quest for positions and power certain politicians have stooped so low to gutter politics.
"This is highly unethical. They are arguably as bad as the kleptocrat BN politicians," he said.
Arshad said that the majority of people who voted for Pakatan Harapan under the leadership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted to see it carrying out the necessary reforms to get the country back on track.
He advised the leaders to retain their focus on the reform agenda.
"Patriot would like to see politicians involved in this power struggle to behave in the manner that is worthy of the people’s respect, trust and support.
"They should instead fully focus on their respective portfolios and responsibilities and to fulfil their promises of reform as expected by the rakyat who voted them in."
Arshad noted that the problem lies not with Mahathir, as he had repeatedly said he will keep to his promise to hand over the reins to his successor.
"Patriot understands that the Harapan presidential council has already made a decision on leadership succession, and will respect that.
"Any attempt on horse-trading for the premiership succession will be viewed in contempt," he said.
Mahathir has repeatedly stated that Anwar Ibrahim will succeed him as the prime minister, although there is no set time frame to do so.
This is despite open support by several leaders from both the government and opposition for Mahathir to stay in his post for a full term.