Not up to Mahathir to decide on who should be Prime Minister: Anwar

Malaysia opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim (pictured) said it was not up to former PM Mahathir Mohamad to decide who should be the opposition's prime ministerial candidate.
Malaysia opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim (pictured) said it was not up to former PM Mahathir Mohamad to decide who should be the opposition's prime ministerial candidate.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SHAH ALAM - It is not up to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to decide who should be the Malaysian opposition's prime ministerial candidate, his one-time deputy-turned-nemesis Anwar Ibrahim said on Monday (June 5), maintaining that the candidate must be decided by consensus among members of the opposition alliance.

"It is not for him (to decide), it is for Harapan (to decide)," Anwar said, referring to the Pakatan Harapan alliance.

He was speaking to news portal Malaysiakini at a Shah Alam court on the recent comment by Dr Mahathir, now chairman of opposition party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, that the latter "might be forced to consider" becoming prime minister again if his friends in the Opposition want him.

"People don't volunteer (to be prime minister), there has to be consensus," Anwar, who is de facto leader of opposition party Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

While Anwar is Harapan's favourite to be prime minister, he is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008 and will be barred from contesting in any election for five years after his release.

He could be freed as early as next year, Malaysiakini said

Pribumi, meanwhile, had previously thrown its support for either its chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or Dr Mahathir as its candidate of choice.