World

Dr M to have vital role as statesman after leadership change: Anwar

PKR chief to discuss succession plan 'in a good manner' with Mahathir, who can then take a statesman role

BANGI, SELANGOR Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will still have a vital role to play even after he steps down as PM, says Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim.

"Even if I take over the leadership, Dr Mahathir will still play a role as a statesman who has contributed a lot to the country. Therefore, I do not see any issue in the matter," Mr Anwar told reporters at the National Youth Council 2019 yesterday .

Before the 2018 general election, component parties in Pakatan Harapan agreed that if the coalition won, Dr Mahathir would be the Prime Minister for two years before handing over the reins to Mr Anwar.

While welcoming Dr Mahathir's commitment and explanation over the succession plan, Mr Anwar refused to give any details.

"I welcome it, and regarding the dates and others, let it be discussed between me and him in a good manner.

"I have no problem at all, as Dr Mahathir has a role and must be given space," he said.

Asked how he felt after a year of freedom, Mr Anwar, who was pardoned last May while serving a prison sentence for sodomy, said: "Oh, it has been a year! I am grateful for the release and a year has passed by.

"I am utilising my time to meet everyone at all stages from the district to those overseas, and even meet my old friends and grassroots leaders, activists and non-governmental organisations."

He welcomed the Prime Minister's suggestions for all federal lawmakers to declare their assets and those of their family to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Said Mr Anwar: "The proposal must be accepted by the government as the government has the responsibility to be transparent, and the opposition had also raised it before. We must give our full support."

He said the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) must explain allegations of a "dedak cartel" (money politics) in the party.

Though PAS believed this was an internal party matter, it had spread to the public sphere.

"It involves funds from other parties as the allegations stated.The matter now involves the interest of the public as they want to know about the source of the fund," Mr Anwar said.

He stressed that there was a need for the PAS top leadership to look into the allegations and address them.

PAS has imposed a gag order on its members to stop discussions and debates related to party matters across all media platforms.

PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said on Tuesday that the gag order took effect immediately.

The order came in the wake of fresh allegations about "dedak cartel" in the party brought up by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang's son-in-law, Mr Zaharudin Muhammad.

Mr Takiyuddin said on Tuesday: "Any views, opinion, suggestion and even criticism should be forwarded through party channels at various levels.

"This is part of the party discipline, where freedom of speech is assured while at the same time, we control and protect the confidentiality within the organisation." - THE STAR

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