“The jailed leader didn’t seem to have qualms when his own wife made a similar offer last month”
A news report hosted by Malaysiakini quoted Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim as saying it was not for Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to decide who should be the next Prime Minister.
The de facto opposition leader, now serving jail time, was responding to a statement made by Mahathir last Thursday, in which the former premier stated his willingness to be Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for the top job.
“I cannot ignore my friends in Pakatan Harapan.
“If they have such a suggestion and it is agreed upon, then I might be forced to consider.
“At this time, I don’t agree to be prime minister….at this time,” the former premier was quoted as saying.
To this, Anwar replied that the question of who should be Prime Minister was one Pakatan Harapan needed to address as a collective.
“People don’t (just) volunteer (to be prime minister), there has to be a consensus.”
Ironically, the jailed leader didn’t seem to have qualms when his own wife made a similar offer last month.
On the 12th of May 2017, Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail made public her ‘willingness’ to warm the Prime Minister’s seat for her husband, saying it was all “part of the plan.”
The fact that such a plan exists was made manifest on Saturday, the 20th of May 2017, when PKR youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad announced his wing’s support for Wan Azizah’s role as interim Prime Minister pending Anwar’s release.
A day later, PKR leaders attending the party’s congress held placards that read “Anwar 7th PM,” a move that went against the very spirit of consensus Anwar was talking about.
The move was seen by many as a deliberate attempt by Wan Azizah to humiliate Mahathir, who attended the event together with the president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
A PKR insider revealed that the party president did what she did on the advice of Lim Kit Siang, who told her that naming Anwar as PKR’s candidate for the top job would “put Mahathir in his place.”
“Kit Siang is playing it both ends against the middle – by naming Anwar as PM, he is hoping to retain Malay support for the coalition.
“The Chinese would also prefer Anwar, fearing that Mahathir would push DAP to the sidelines if named PM,” the insider said.
It is widely believed that the majority of Chinese find it difficult to fathom the idea of a government run by Mahathir and assisted by Kit Siang, the man the former premier used to call a racist and anti-Islam.