Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail admits that she has been offered the post of prime minister after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th general election on May 9.
Sharing the information for the first time with some 200 members of Malaysian diaspora in Jakarta last night, she said the offer came from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V as she is the president of PKR, the party which symbol was used by all Harapan component party members in the GE14.
“However, I had to turn down the offer because we have made a promise (to the people) that Dr Mahathir Mohamad will become prime minister and me, the deputy prime minister,” she said during the event at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta.
While admitting that Harapan was also surprised when it managed to put an end to BN's 61-year rule of the country, Wan Azizah also said that she was grateful that the GE14 was successfully carried out in a very democratic and peaceful manner.
However, she said Harapan also did not expect that when it took over the administration of the country, it also inherited a huge amount of debt and practically destroyed the administration and financial system.
Wan Azizah added that even though several promises in the Harapan manifesto for the GE14 had yet to be fulfilled, she really hoped that all Malaysians could be patient before the government could really implement the desired changes.
To a question on whether the government would evaluate the performance of its ministers and replace those who failed to perform well, she said it was too early to make such evaluation as it was merely five months since the Harapan government took over the administration of the country.
“Give us some time because we are still in the learning curve,” she said, adding that only a handful of the Harapan ministers had vast experience in country’s administration, namely Mahathir and Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, while Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali had experience in state administration.
Wan Azizah also shared her proud moment being the first woman to chair the cabinet meeting when Mahathir was abroad.
She is on a day visit to Indonesia, which is her first after being appointed as deputy prime minister on May 21.