Give Dr M space to lead within 'agreed upon' duration - Anwar

Modified 2 Jan 2019, 6:11 pm

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad must be given the space to lead the country within the “agreed upon” duration, says his designated successor Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar tweeted this today after what he said was an hour-long meeting with the premier.

“Mahathir must be given the space to lead the government for the duration that we agreed upon. 

"He has the full support of Pakatan Harapan,” he said, without specifying the timeline.

Mahathir has repeatedly said that the reins of power will be handed over to Anwar after two or two-and-a-half years in office.

This is despite pressure from Bersatu grassroots for Mahathir to complete a full term.

On New Year’s Day, Pakatan Harapan secretary-general Saifuddin Abdullah clarified that the timeline for the transition was never discussed at the coalition’s presidential council.

“Harapan only made the decision and agreed that after Mahathir, Anwar will be the next prime minister. We didn’t discuss the rest as they understand each other.

“Both (Mahathir and Anwar) should be able to determine the best time for transfer of power and so on,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Read more: 'It's two years' - Anwar never said he wanted to be PM earlier, says Dr M

In an interview with Sinchew Daily, however, Mahathir reiterated that he would keep his promise, and said Anwar had never asked to take over earlier than the proposed two-year timeline.

Anwar said he also discussed his recent meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte with Mahathir, and sought the prime minister's advice on an upcoming meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week.

Previously, The Star reported that Anwar had been on a family vacation in Manila, where he received an invitation to meet Duterte at the Philippine presidential palace. 

Anwar had tweeted about the meeting last week.

In addition, Anwar said he and Mahathir agreed on strategies regarding Singapore and the government's economic focus, including on combating poverty and income inequality.

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