KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — DAP’s Liew Chin Tong described the federal administration as a “Mahathir-Anwar government” when explaining the importance of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s victory in the Port Dickson by-election.
In an interview with Australia’s ABC network yesterday, the deputy defence minister said Anwar had been critical to the formation of the Pakatan Harapan pact that he said would not have been possible without the PKR leader.
“This is not just a Mahathir government; this is essentially a Mahathir-Anwar government.
“Without Anwar’s participation and facilitating the realignment of political forces in these recent years, we would not have this government,” he said in the interview.
Liew was referring to the reconciliation between Anwar and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in late 2016, when the two bitter rivals set aside years of hostility to join forces against Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional.
Dr Mahathir sacked Anwar as his deputy in 1998 before the latter was imprisoned on sodomy and corruption charges.
Anwar and his family previously said the move had been difficult and painful.
Liew explained that it was now vital for Anwar to be elected in order to position himself as an “important figure” in the government as that would allow PH to realise the agreement for the latter to take over from Dr Mahathir.
“The deal that we announced on the 7th of January this year was for Dr Mahathir to become the prime minister, with Anwar’s wife Azizah as deputy prime minister, and eventually Anwar will take over as the eighth prime minister.”
On his prediction of when Anwar would take over from Dr Mahathir, Liew said he believed it would be in the region of the two years that the prime minister previously cited.
This would allow Dr Mahathir adequate time to implement his policies as well as for the PH administration to stabilise, he added.
Anwar is contesting against six other candidates in the Port Dickson by-election today.