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Report: Anwar trusts that Dr M will hand over the reins of power

Published:  |  Modified:

PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim says that he trusts Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to hand over the reins of power to him as promised, according to a report by Nikkei Asian Review.

“I trust him and there is no reason for me to question him.

"As long as I continue to have a good rapport with him, it is alright,” he was quoted as saying, while acknowledging that some people were trying to drive a wedge between him and Mahathir for personal reasons.

Anwar also reportedly told the business journal that he aims to be in Parliament through a by-election in October, where he will play a “check-and-balance” role on the government’s institutional reforms.

"The decision to be active in parliament is strategic in a sense that you don't create an impression that I am trying to disturb and make things difficult for Mahathir."

Anwar also told the Nikkei Asian Review that he intends to allow Mahathir a free hand to rule.

Bumiputera policies

As for reforms, he said he wants the country’s bumiputera policies to be returned to its original objective of alleviating poverty.

"The policy, which is race-based, and [has been] abused to enrich cronies, has to stop…

“The policy that helps the marginalised, minorities and bumiputera lagging behind has to continue, not as a bumiputera policy but as affirmative action,” he reportedly said.

According to the interview published today, Anwar also said that he supports Mahathir’s reviews of China-backed investments, but added that there is a need to improve relations between the two countries.

He also accused the previous government of being “too soft” to appease its support base among Muslim conservatives, saying that Malaysian society must live with different beliefs and ways of life and must respect people who are different.

This includes the LGBT community, he said, but added that the government will not recognise same-sex marriage.

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