Anwar: Stop pressuring us about power transition

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has emphasised that there should be no pressure placed on him or Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the issue of the transition of leadership.

Anwar reiterated Dr Mahathir’s stand that he will relinquish his post as Prime Minister after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November.

“In my discussion with the Prime Minister, it will be after Apec, so we will deal with this, and I don’t think anyone should be put under pressure, neither me nor Tun Dr Mahathir.

“And again, I reiterate that he (Dr Mahathir) should be given latitude because both of us and the Pakatan Harapan council have decided that the change will be smooth, peaceful and orderly, and we still continue to work as a team,” he told reporters at the sidelines of Help University’s “The Construct of a Nation: As I See It” symposium yesterday.

When asked if he will seek for an exact date for the handover in leadership, Anwar said : “No, we will discuss it.”

Anwar also said he is confident that the talks regarding the power transition will be brief.

“The transition is part of the deal and it can be resolved in half an hour.

“The focus is on the economy,” he added.

Anwar also said that it was “not in the plans” for him to join the Cabinet before the leadership transition takes place.

The Pakatan presidential council meeting will be held tonight.

Earlier during the symposium, Anwar emphasised that one of his tasks when he assumes office will be to create a mature democracy and undertake all measures to ensure equality among the races.

He reiterated that he wants to ensure there is justice and equal opportunities for all in the country to further progress.

Anwar also said he wants to focus on the economy and take necessary measures to encourage private and domestic investments as well as to bring in more foreign direct investments.

Asked if his daughter Nurul Izzah will return to national politics, Anwar said he respects his daughter’s decisions.

“With Nurul Izzah, you don’t dictate. They (my children) are astute, smart and they make their own decisions.

“She (Nurul Izzah) has very strong views on corruption. She wants to focus on Permatang Pauh.

“I tried to talk to her, persuade her, but I respect the independence of my children.

“They decide for themselves.”

He however hoped that his daughter would change her mind and return to active politics.

Anwar also said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is his wife, and their children have always been a great source of strength for him throughout his ups and downs.

In 2018, Nurul Izzah stepped down as PKR vice-president and relinquished her appointment as the Penang PKR chief.

She said she would however remain as a parliamentary backbencher committed to reforms.

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