KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — There is no official agreement for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to succeed current Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad despite the promise as per Pakatan Harapan’s election pledges, veteran politician Tan Sri Rais Yatim has claimed.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council member was reported telling English daily The Star that while PH leaders would want to discuss the matter, he said he doubts Dr Mahathir wants to do so.
“I don’t see that there’s an agreement. In politics, there is no agreement unless it’s black and white.
“Although PH has spoken about this, this is not something concrete — that he shall be the prime minister after two years. So, politics and government being what they are, I think the public has a better flow of thought to determine it,” Rais was quoted saying.
Rais said Dr Mahathir will likely choose a wholesome successor to become the next prime minister, and said economic affairs minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali is closest to the latter while claiming that Dr Mahathir favours the PKR deputy president over others.
“I must say those who he believes could be the wholesome successor. He knows better... I believe Azmin is close enough to him.
“I think they have worked together and perhaps Tun likes him better than the rest. Perhaps that is why many of these crutches are being propped up,” said Rais, referring to the recent sex video scandal, which had implicated the Gombak MP.
The former minister, however, said Dr Mahathir was in no hurry to step down.
“He got his third national car programme. He got a good list of things to do that he does not need to leave just now. After all, there was no schedule of leaving — tentatively or completely.
“Whether or not he would be successful in doing that [choosing his successor] would depend on the circumstances,” said Rais.
On Friday, Dr Mahathir had again reiterated his promise to relinquish the prime minister’s post within two years of taking office, but fell short of saying he trusts his apparent successor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Dr Mahathir’s former minister Tun Daim Zainuddin had also recently said that the country does not need the distraction of when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will become prime minister, drawing attention to the state of the economy.