Anwar: Mahathir will continue to play important role even when I’m Prime Minister
Anwar said that details of the succession plan were to be solely discussed between him and Mahathir.
Current Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will continue to play an important role even when prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim has taken over the reins.
This was the statement made by Anwar on May 15, in response to a question ahead of the first anniversary of his release from prison on May 16, 2018, The Star reported.
Anwar said: “Even if I take over the leadership, Dr Mahathir will still play a role as a statesman who has contributed a lot to the country.”
He added that did not see any issue with Mahathir’s continued role and that Mahathir should be given the space.
Succession plan details to be discussed solely between him and Mahathir
Anwar has so far refused to divulge any details of the succession plan from Mahathir, stating that it was a matter between the two of them, The Star reported.
But Anwar said he welcomed Mahathir’s response on the issue.
Discussions on the matter, including the question of the succession date, are proceeding smoothly, The Malay Mail reported.
Anwar said: “I welcome it, and regarding the dates and others, let it be discussed between me and him in a good manner.”
Backed Mahathir in spat with Johor royal household
The fact that Anwar is willing to reserve a role for Mahathir in his future administration is the latest indication of just how politically aligned they have become.
Anwar’s statement comes in the wake of his support for Mahathir in his recent spat with the Johor Royal Household.
On April 27, the Johor Crown Prince made a comment at a football club match, in which he suggested that the Prime Minister of Malaysia be changed.
This drew Anwar’s response on April 29, in which he stated that Mahathir represented the government with the new mandate, and therefore, needed to be respected.
In addition, Anwar said the Crown Prince’s actions could amount to “royal intervention” in government matters.
Anwar added: “That is why we reinforce our position, the PM is guided by the principles of the constitution. He has been given the task to comply with it, and we must ensure that he does the task effectively.”
Pardoned of his conviction a year ago
On May 16, 2018, Anwar was pardoned by then Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, of his sodomy conviction, just after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th Malaysian General Election against the ruling Barisan Nasional.
According to The Star, the political parties that make up the current ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) agreed before the election that Mahathir would be Prime Minister for two years prior to handing over the reins to Anwar.
In his recent remarks, Anwar said that he is thankful everything has been running smoothly since being released, The Malay Mail highlighted.
He said that he been using the time to meet with multiple parties, such as travelling abroad to meet old friends, along with the Malaysian people, NGOs and activists.
Top image collage from Anwar Ibrahim Facebook and Mahathir Mohamad Facebook