With Dr M as PM, Anwar reveals plans to contest parliamentary seat

Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
Anwar has been imprisoned since 2015 and was finally released yesterday. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he did not have a time frame for when he should become prime minister, but expressed his eagerness to return to Parliament swiftly.

Previously, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said Anwar was unlikely to stand for election soon, even after receiving the royal pardon that removed his disqualification to run for office.

In an exclusive interview with Malay Mail, however, Anwar said that while he will allow Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as much time as the latter needed to carry out Pakatan Harapan’s reform pledges, he was keen to resume active politics.

Anwar has been imprisoned since 2015 and was finally released yesterday.

“Although there is no timeframe (for PM succession), it does not mean I cannot be active in politics.

“I should contest for (a) Parliament (seat) earlier,” he told Malay Mail, when asked whether he would wait for two years before returning to politics and contesting a parliamentary seat.

Such a move would require a PH lawmaker to vacate his parliamentary seat and trigger a by-election for Anwar to contest, unless one crops up before then.

Dr Wan Azizah did that once in 2008, when she resigned as Permatang Pauh MP to allow Anwar to contest for the spot after his disqualification stemming from another conviction then had lapsed.

The seat is currently held by Anwar’s daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, who left Lembah Pantai for the Penang seat in 14th general election.

Dr Wan Azizah moved from Permatang Pauh to Pandan.

Anwar is immediately free to contest in polls as the royal pardon he received today wipes out his sodomy conviction and the resultant disqualification.