KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim said on Friday (Aug 30) he has never offered himself to be a member of the Cabinet and would take over the reins of governance when the time was right.
He said there was no issue at all on whether he would like to become a member of the Cabinet, as he was bound to a signed agreement within ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition on the succession plan.
"Thank you, I've never offered myself to be a member of the Cabinet. I'm tied to PH's consensus that I should give the full space for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to lead the Cabinet and the understanding is that I will assume at the right moment," Datuk Seri Anwar told the Malaysian media.
"I have never proposed or planned to join the Cabinet because the signed consensus within PH was that (Tun) Dr Mahathir would be the Prime Minister and Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would be his deputy until it is my turn to become the Prime Minister."
He said this in response to Dr Mahathir's recent remarks that there was currently "no vacancy" in the Cabinet.
The Straits Times reported last week that the premier will reshuffle his Cabinet soon, confirming months of speculation during which PH's approval ratings have suffered.
The Straits Times understood that while Dr Mahathir acknowledges the poor performance of some of the 27 ministers in his 15-month-old administration have underwhelmed, he told Cabinet last Wednesday (Aug 21) that there will not be a change of personnel, but portfolios.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Dr Mahathir said he has no plans for new ministers in the present Cabinet line-up.
"At the moment, no minister wants to resign. If someone resigns, and there is a vacancy, then we will fill it," he said.
Meanwhile, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said in a recent interview that only fate will decide whether Mr Anwar would be the next prime minister.
To this, Mr Anwar responded by saying that fate has a hand in all matters, including life, death, marriage and prime ministership.