Anwar: Wan Azizah will step down with Dr Mahathir

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 – A scenario where PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becomes Prime Minister while his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail remains Deputy Prime Minister will never happen, according to the former, Bernama reported.

He said this was because Wan Azizah will step down together with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, when the time comes for the change in leadership at the helm of the federal government.

Anwar said there was no need for Wan Azizah, who is Pandan MP, to give up her Cabinet posts until then. She is also the Women and Family Development Minister.

“Why doesn’t Wan Azizah step down? Well, if she did, PKR will lose the Deputy Prime Minister’s post.

“I have also informed Dr Mahathir that if I win the Port Dickson parliamentary seat, I don’t want to be in the government right away. I want to give way for Dr Mahathir to discharge his responsibilities until my time comes.

“So, be patient. Only when I’m appointed Prime Minister will Wan Azizah step down as Deputy Prime Minister,” Anwar was quoted as saying by the national news agency.

“There is no need for people to make a fuss of it so early, wanting Wan Azizah to step down. I am just explaining because many people are raising this issue.”

Warning from Patriots

According to Bernama, he was responding to a statement from the National Patriots Association (Patriot), warning him against creating a family dynasty in Parliament.

The army veterans’ group president Brigadier-General (Rtd) Mohamad Arshad Raji said  Anwar should have asked Wan Azizah or his daughter Nurul Izzah, to give up their parliamentary seats instead of asking a retired rear admiral to do so.

Asked about his relations with Dr Mahathir, Anwar said he and the prime minister have come to terms with their past rivalry and now made peace with each other.

“The whole world knew I was his enemy. When we fight, we really fought. Now we have made peace, Everybody should support.

“Dr Mahathir and I made peace in order for what happened before to end,” he was quoted as saying.

Anwar wants to reform Parliament

Meanwhile, Anwar told PKR members at a gathering in Ayer Keroh, Melaka, that he had no ulterior motive or was being impatient to be the next Prime Minister by contesting the Port Dickson seat.

“I just want to help reform Parliament. My relationship with Dr Mahathir is amicable and I don’t harbour any adverse notion with my decision to contest in a by-election,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.

Anwar added that he had already expressed his intention to contest two weeks ago.

“My aim is to make an inroad into Parliament and help my junior peers in drafting policies and legal frameworks for the benefit of the people,” he said.

PKR leaders should not criticise by-election

He also said there was nothing wrong with his own party leaders criticising him.

“But they should draw the line when commenting on this issue because everyone knew there was a consensus among Pakatan Harapan coalition leaders that I would contest a parliament constituency once I had been pardoned and released from prison.

“Even the incumbent for the Port Dickson parliament seat, Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, had no qualms in vacating the seat for me

“But some within the party seem to be criticising the move,” he said, according to the daily.

Anwar added that freedom of speech was welcomed it should come with a certain degree of discipline, especially when commenting on the party leadership.

“As the president, my duty is to safeguard the party’s integrity and unity,” he was quoted as saying by The Star.

No tolerance for party infighting

Anwar warned that he would no longer tolerate “nonsense and infighting” within PKR.

“I want the grassroots to reject leaders who are arrogant and who have forgotten their humble beginnings in the upcoming party election.

“Oust those who are aloof and materialistic from the party. I am telling you all, please discard those who are traitors, power crazy and arrogant when assuming positions like executive councillors.

“Elect those who are consistent with our founding principles and humble, and those willing to serve all races,” The Star quoted Anwar as saying.