KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s praise of PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a leader was met with gratitude by the latter.
Malaysiakini reported Anwar as thanking Dr Mahathir for having confidence in him, which was expressed in an interview with the New Straits Times published today.
“I thank him for his confidence in me, which I appreciate,” he was quoted saying while campaigning in Rantau for the upcoming by-election.
The prime minister had described his former subordinate, whom he sacked from office and imprisoned in 1998 and subsequently co-operated with to defeat former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the 14th general elections, as an acceptable choice as his successor with notable leadership qualities.
Anwar also concurred with Dr Mahathir’s opinion on Najib, who said between both men Najib was a worse leader.
“Based on the losses suffered by Malaysia and his management, along with his personal and family life, we have had no other prime minister in our history like him,” he reportedly said.
Dr Mahathir had said having Anwar to replace Najib was a more acceptable alternative than letting him continue as prime minister, regardless of their past differences and conflict.
Najib currently faces 42 charges of corruption and money laundering over the 1MDB scandal, which has resulted in some US$4.5 billion (RM18.41 billion) misappropriated from the organisation. He denies having committed any wrongdoing.
The prime minister also said he is confident of Anwar’s ability in keeping Pakatan Harapan together, adding he has led a ‘considerable part’ of the coalition since he was the main architect of the former Pakatan Rakyat coalition despite its eventual dissolution.
Anwar is slated to succeed Dr Mahathir as prime minister, but the date is still undetermined.