'I'm worried': Mahathir casts doubt on Anwar's ability to lead M'sia as Prime Minister

Not the first time.

Ilyda Chua | December 26, 2022, 12:41 PM

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After sending his congratulations to his political rival a mere month ago, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad expressed doubt about whether the current PM would be able to lead the country.

According to Malaysian media Berita Harian (BH), Mahathir said that he was worried about Anwar's ability to bring the country out of the ongoing economic crisis, especially amidst its post-pandemic recovery efforts.

He added that the PM seemed focused on maintaining support in parliament.

Asian Financial Crisis...

Mahathir alluded to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, when the pair clashed over how best to respond to it.

At the time, Anwar was Mahathir's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

He was left in charge as Mahathir was on sabbatical at that time. But "it seemed he couldn't handle the problem," Mahathir said according to BH.

"At that time, it seemed that he couldn't come up with a way to overcome the crisis. Whether in the future, he may come up with a way to deal with state problems, we haven't been able to decide," he said.

As such, he expressed that his doubts if Anwar could lift the country out of its post-pandemic economic downturn and political instability.

When asked if Anwar to guide Malaysia through an expected global recession in 2023, Mahathir said: "Based on his experience when he was Deputy Prime Minister, when he demonstrated his abilities — I'm worried."


This is not the first time Mahathir has referred to the Asian Financial Crisis to cast doubt on his former protégé.

In 2020, he claimed that Anwar would not make a good PM as he has proved himself "not capable" during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

He eventually sacked Anwar.

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Top image via Anwar Ibrahim/FB and Mahathir Mohamad/FB