Traitors don't want me to be PM: Anwar

He says he is fed up with talking about issue, wants to focus on economic development

KOTA KINABALU • Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim says that "traitors" are trying to stop him from replacing Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and taking over the top job in line with an earlier agreement.

Saying that he was fed up with talking about the issue, the Port Dickson MP added that it was more important to focus on economic development and the people's well-being.

"That's why I don't really like to talk about it, but the problem is that there are a lot of orang khianat (traitors)," he told PKR members during the Sabah PKR convention at ITCC Penampang near Kota Kinabalu on Monday.

When people asked whether he could still wait to be the eighth prime minister, Datuk Seri Anwar said: "I have waited for 20 years, so it's okay. Don't worry."

He added: "If God wants to make it happen, it will happen." He said he was not pushing for the leadership transition and urged everyone to continue supporting the federal and state governments on pressing development needs.

On Sunday, Tun Dr Mahathir said only the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council could determine who would be prime minister.

This came after opposition MPs urged the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman to remain as prime minister until the next general election. Prior to that election, PH had decided that Dr Mahathir would be prime minister for a few years before handing over the baton to Mr Anwar, but no timeframe or exact date was given.

Recently, there was speculation that former Umno vice-president and Sembrong MP Hishammuddin Hussein was trying to oust the Democratic Action Party and Parti Amanah Negara from the PH coalition to form a new government, prompting the PH secretariat to issue a statement strongly denouncing the plot.


That's why I don't really like to talk about it, but the problem is that there are a lot of orang khianat (traitors). I have waited for 20 years, so it's okay. Don't worry. If God wants to make it happen, it will happen.

DATUK SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM, on being fed up with talking about the leadership transition.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin has denied involvement in such a campaign.

At a press conference after the convention, Mr Anwar said that in principle, there was no objection to controversial former federal minister Salleh Said Keruak joining PKR.

He said he had informed Datuk Seri Salleh, whose membership status was still pending, that they normally did not have a problem accepting anyone, but they had to take into account party members' sentiments.

Asked about Dr Salleh's known past as a loyalist to Umno and former premier Najib Razak, Mr Anwar said that should not be an indicator of whether or not to accept someone into the party.

"I take such comments into consideration, but I myself was a committed member of Umno in the past," he said.

Mr Anwar added that he had spoken to Sabah PKR chief Christina Liew and other leaders about it, but that if Dr Salleh pledged commitment to the party's struggles, then they might just have to consider taking him in.

On other matters, he said that although PKR's stand on the 20 per cent oil royalty and 40 per cent net revenue to be returned to Sabah was consistent and still valid, what was more important was for the federal government to have good governance and fight corruption.

"What has been promised should be fulfilled," he added.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2019, with the headline 'Traitors don't want me to be PM: Anwar'. Print Edition | Subscribe