KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — There is no need to change the deputy prime minister or the existing Cabinet line-up, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today in agreement with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Anwar, who has been described as the prime minister-in-waiting, said he had a brief meeting with Dr Mahathir in Putrajaya before the latter left for Bangkok.
“In that meeting, I stated agreement towards his stand in focusing on the national development programme and that there was no need for a change of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Cabinet,” Anwar wrote on his Facebook page.
Anwar, who is PKR president, is the husband of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Anwar’s Facebook statement today comes as the issue of 94-year-old Dr Mahathir’s promised transition of power to him came into focus again recently.
Selangor Bersatu treasurer Mohd Shaid Rosli had reportedly urged Dr Wan Azizah to relinquish her position as deputy prime minister, if PKR wished to see Dr Mahathir transferring power to Anwar within this year.
But Dr Wan Azizah said on June 18 that this was not an issue as it was previously agreed by Pakatan Harapan that she would be Dr Mahathir’s deputy, and as she had previously said she would step down when Anwar takes over from Dr Mahathir to become prime minister.
PKR loyalist group Otai Reformis last week urged Dr Mahathir to fix a time frame for the transition of power, which has been floated around as two years amid Dr Mahathir’s seemingly past non-committal remarks on the time frame.
Yesterday, pro-government group Pertubuhan Kebajikan Ihsan Muda Pulau Pinang instead disagreed with any calls for a transition of power now, which it claimed would lead to chaos in the country’s administration, saying that Dr Mahathir should be given time to put Malaysia back on the right track and be allowed to serve the full term of five years.
Anwar said he had, in the same meeting today, discussed several other current issues with Dr Mahathir, including the recent sex video scandal that PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has been dragged into despite the latter’s assertion that it was a political ploy to tarnish his reputation and destroy his career.
Anwar said he had reaffirmed PKR’s rejection of the sex videos as a despicable and disgusting political culture, while also sharing sympathy towards Azmin and his family.
Dr Mahathir will be leading the Malaysian delegation to the Asean summit in Bangkok, Thailand from today until Sunday.
The delegation includes Dr Mahathir’s wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Ali, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking, Economic Affairs Minister Azmin, and officials from the three ministries.