Freed Anwar won't serve in Cabinet for now

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, waving to his supporters after leaving hospital yesterday, said he needs time and space to rest with his family and to fulfil overseas teaching and speaking engagements.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, waving to his supporters after leaving hospital yesterday, said he needs time and space to rest with his family and to fulfil overseas teaching and speaking engagements.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who received a royal pardon from the King yesterday morning, has said he will not serve in the new government of Pakatan Harapan for now.

He said he needs "time and space" to rest with his family and to travel abroad to fulfil teaching and speaking engagements.

Mr Anwar, 70, pledged his support for the leadership of newly minted Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is his wife.

When asked by reporters if he would have a role in the new Cabinet, Mr Anwar said: "I will be kept informed, but I don't need to serve in the Cabinet for now."

Dr Mahathir has promised to step down as Prime Minister in two years to make way for Mr Anwar.

Tun Dr Mahathir had also previously vowed to get rid of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) within 100 days of taking office. Yesterday, the Finance Ministry said the GST will be reduced from the current 6 per cent to zero per cent from next month, effectively abolishing the tax.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2018, with the headline 'Freed Anwar won't serve in Cabinet for now'. Print Edition | Subscribe