PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail declined the King's offer to be made prime minister because she held true to the deal by Pakatan Harapan component parties to elect Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as premier, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar said that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V had first suggested that his wife, also the PKR president, be appointed Prime Minister as the party had garnered the most seats in GE14.
However, Dr Wan Azizah declined the offer as the deal in Pakatan was that coalition chairman Dr Mahathir would be made Prime Minister, also saying she was not ready for the role.
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong said that it is seldom that we see politicians hold on to their promises.
“But Dr Wan Azizah asked for one thing – she asked for her husband to be released immediately.
“The King said he will do it as fast as possible,” Anwar said in his first speech at Padang Timur here on Wednesday (May 16) night after his royal pardon.
The 70-year-old PKR leader had walked out of the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital at 11.30am on Wednesday and headed straight to the Istana Negara for an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who granted a full pardon and cleared him of his 2014 sodomy conviction.
Anwar was initially scheduled to be released on June 8 this year after his five-year sentence that started on Feb 10, 2015 was reduced for good behaviour.
In his speech, Anwar also thanked Dr Mahathir for expediting the process of his pardon.
He also took a swipe at the Election Commission (EC) in his speech, claiming that the EC had failed to furnish GE14 results to the King in a timely manner.
“(On election day), the King said he did not receive a report from the EC at 2.30am and at 3.30am.
“So I asked when the EC gave him an official report. He said it was 3.45pm the next day.
”I promised that I will pass down this message to the people so the public won’t be ‘cheated’ by the EC -- that it has done its work,” said Anwar.
Anwar's first sodomy charge was in 1998, when he was the deputy prime minister and protégé to the then-prime minister Dr Mahathir.
Following the charge, Dr Mahathir sacked Anwar from Cabinet, which then triggered the formation of PKR and the Reformasi movement.
Anwar was found guilty and sentenced to jail in 1999, but was released in 2004 after his sodomy verdict was overturned.