Anwar: I rejected IIUM presidency

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a dinner event at Tanam Putri Jaya in Balakong September 6, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PETALING JAYA, Sept 6 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today revealed he declined an offer to be president of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

“I am without any position in the government and I went to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and told him I don’t want any position.

“Recently, it was suggested I become the president UIAM (the initials of IIUM in Malay), but (to that) I also said I don’t want the position, because I want to support; I want the PH (Pakatan Harapan) government under Tun Dr Mahathir to be strong and have solid support,” he said during PH’s campaign in the Seri Setia state by-election.

Education Minister Maszlee Malik’s appointment as IIUM president came under fire from both PH and Opposition figures, on the grounds that it was a conflict of interest.

Following the criticism, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Maszlee’s special adviser in the ministry, reportedly said Maszlee’s appointment was made by the Sultan of Pahang and that the Ruler made his choice as the constitutional head of the university.

Also present during today’s event was Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah and by-election candidate Halimey Abu Bakar.

Anwar asked the crowd for their support to cast their votes for Halimey this Saturday, and later again, when he decides to compete in a parliamentary seat ahead of the 15th general election.

He also stressed how he wished to see people support Prime Minister Dr Mahathir and then to back him when he gets an MP to resign so that he can run in a by-election and return to Parliament.

“After I support Halimey, and then, when it's my turn, after you support Halimey, support me instead.

“Now it’s just a by-election, and then there will be another one, for me to contend.

“So I hope all will be able to help then,” he said, drawing cheers from the crowd.

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