Anwar says no plans for Cabinet post, stresses need for Mahathir to be unaffected by ‘constraints of time or pressure’

Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim takes an oath as a member of the parliament during the swearing-in ceremony at Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 15, 2018.
Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim takes an oath as a member of the parliament during the swearing-in ceremony at Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 15, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Newly elected lawmaker Anwar Ibrahim said on Monday (Oct 15) that there is no plan for him to take up a Cabinet post after he was sworn in as a Member of Parliament.

He told reporters that he would contribute as a regular MP, when pressed by reporters on his plans for the future.

“I’ve said to Prime Minister Mahathir that I will only support and give my contribution through Parliament and parliamentary reforms, but of course I will interact with the ministers and MPs; that’s part of the job of a Member of Parliament.”

When asked if he would be taking up any Cabinet ministerial position, he replied: “No. I stand by my earlier decision. I don’t intend to serve in any position and I am happy with this position.”

When asked if Tun Mahathir Mohamad had indicated a timeline for him to take over as prime minister, Datuk Seri Anwar said: “No, I don’t think that’s an issue as far as I am concerned.”

“Let him have the space and latitude to continue unaffected by the constraints of time or pressure. That’s very important,” Mr Anwar told reporters.

He added that some of the decisions that have to be made by Dr Mahathir and the Malaysian Cabinet require “total unequivocal support by Pakatan Harapan, and that includes me”.

The de facto leader of ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) garnered 72 per cent of the vote in the Port Dickson by-election last Saturday.

This is the third time Mr Anwar is returning to Parliament in a tumultuous political career that saw him jailed twice. He was released in May after a royal pardon.

 
 

Now that he has been sworn in as an MP, he is a step closer to fulfilling the agreement by PH to eventually make him Malaysia’s next prime minister - a move that had been agreed upon by the four component parties of the PH before the May 9 election.

Mr Anwar arrived at around 9.40am on Monday, wearing a set of black baju melayu and songkok, and accompanied by his daughter Nurul Nuha Anwar.

The Port Dickson seat was won by a Parti Keadilan Rakyat lawmaker in the May general elections. He vacated his seat last month to trigger the by-election.