Anwar posts meeting with Mahathir a day after succession plan reported to be not set in stone
The optics of this meeting and how timely it is.
The assumption that Anwar Ibrahim will succeed Mahathir Mohamad as the next prime minister of Malaysia saw another twist on July 11.
Nikkei Asian Review reported that Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz Mahathir, said Anwar taking over Mahathir’s reins to be next prime minister might not happen within two years as publicly floated, because “nothing was stated on paper or in a verbal agreement”.
This latest bombshell announcement might be considered nothing new to seasoned political watchers, but it is the sort of spanner in the works that upends the notion of stable political leadership succession in Malaysia.
Mukhriz also said Mahathir has to be given time to fix Malaysia’s economic and financial issues, before Anwar becomes the next PM.
Mukhriz currently serves as the Chief Minister of Kedah, and the Deputy President of Mahathir’s party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).
Discussed environmental issues with Mahathir
On July 12, a day after Mukhriz’s comments were reported, Anwar shared on Facebook an account of a meeting he had with Mahathir.
Those expecting fireworks, or some added fuel for speculation, however, would be disappointed.
Instead of succession plans, Anwar said he discussed environmental issues, which affected fishermen in Penang, with Mahathir.
He also mentioned that he raised “some problems” concerning middle-class and low-class contractors.
However, there wasn’t any indication that he raised the succession issue with Mahathir.
This was what Anwar wrote, translated:
“I met with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad earlier this afternoon at Putrajaya.
During the meeting, I raised several issues regarding the despair of the fishermen in Pulau Pinang who have objected to the giant sea reclamation project in the south of the state.
This issue has a huge impact towards the ecosystem’s sustainability and the fishermen’s livelihood and I have expressed my intention for the prime minister to meet the people who are affected by this.
Apart from this fishermen issue in Pulau Pinang, I also raised several other problems involving the secondary class contractors and below.
Top image from Anwar Ibrahim’s Facebook post.