KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 ― Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership council will decide whether or not he is to replace Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad mid-term.
The PKR president was asked to comment on his party deputy’s remarks yesterday in support of Dr Mahathir serving out a full term as prime minister instead of passing the baton to Anwar as promised.
“That's his personal opinion. I've always said, in any democratic Parliamentary system the decision will be in the hands of the ruling party. Meaning I leave it to the PH council,” Anwar told reporters in Parliament.
Anwar and his deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali have been perceived to be at odds with each other for months, fuelling speculation that the former may not succeed Dr Mahathir as expected.
The rift between the two PKR leaders have also resulted in Opposition lawmakers like Umno’s Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein inviting Malay parties to forge a new political alliance to govern the country, leaving out PH component parties DAP and Amanah.
But when asked if Azmin's comments for Dr Mahathir to remain prime minister was inappropriate, Anwar merely said: “It's ok lah, we understand the background”.
The prime minister-in-waiting was also asked his view of Dr Mahathir’s remarks on Kashmir, which prompted a boycott call from an Indian trade group.
“He was probably presenting the sentiments of some in the country, but we have to find a way to solve this amicably because it's important for our economy.
“PM Mahathir is known to be very consistent with his views,” Anwar said when asked if Dr Mahathir’s remark was too harsh and if the latter should apologise for it.
Dr Mahathir was critical of India’s violent actions to control Muslim-majority Kashmir during his address at the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York last month.
The prime minister had remained firm about his statement and sees no need for an apology, despite allegations of interference by Indian groups.