KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim credited Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Ali with playing a big part in his reconciliation with former nemesis Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Anwar, who was released from prison with a full pardon yesterday, conceded that he initially found it hard to let go of the past enmity to move on and work together with Dr Mahathir.
But seeing how Dr Wan Azizah and Dr Siti Hasmah got along so well together and how they understood each other’s pasts, Anwar said he felt compelled to move on.
“The male ego may not want to agree, or to let go but for them, to them it was easier, there were no barriers to their relationship, they are very affectionate,” Anwar told Malay Mail in an interview.
Yesterday, Anwar asserted that he did not have a timeframe in mind to take over as prime minister from Dr Mahathir, who is meant to make way for his former deputy.
Speaking at his home in Segambut here after receiving a royal pardon and cleared of his sodomy conviction, the de facto PKR leader also took great pains to stress that he has no issue working with with Dr Mahathir and trusts his leadership.
“I will give him all the support necessary to allow him to ensure that the agenda for reform be effectively carried out.
“I do not want to be seen to be hasty or to demand for an immediate time frame,” Anwar told a news conference.
Anwar also questioned why some people continued to harp on his history with Dr Mahathir, saying the latter has proven himself by working hard and supporting Pakatan Harapan’s reform agenda, which facilitated his release.
“I will continue to give Tun Dr Mahathir support and confidence,” Anwar reiterated in the interview.
He said that he will play his role to keep the new PH government in check, namely when it comes to fulfilling its reform pledges.
“I have a direct link to Tun Dr Mahathir, and I will use that to relay my concerns especially in keeping check on ‘Umno 2.0’ characters,” he said, without elaborating on what he meant by that.
The term “Umno 2.0” has been used by supporters who are worried about the defections of members from Umno to the PH coalition, after the Malay nationalist party suffered a bruising defeat in GE14.