Dr Wan Azizah declined PM’s post, Anwar reveals

Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks during an interview at his house in Bukit Segambut, Kuala Lumpur May 16, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was offered but refused the post of prime minister a day after Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the 14th general election, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has revealed.

Speaking to Malay Mail in an exclusive interview, Anwar said Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V spoke to the PKR president about the matter on May 10 at the Istana Negara.

“His Royal Highness offered Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail the prime ministership. His Majesty’s argument was that Wan Azizah is the president of PKR, which has the most MPs in Parliament,” Anwar explained.

PKR is the best-represented party in the PH coalition that was formalised today, after winning 47 seats in Parliament.

DAP is next with 42, while Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s PPBM has 13.

Anwar said Dr Wan Azizah declined the offer, however, as it was already unanimously agreed among PH that Dr Mahathir was to be the PM.

Dr Wan Azizah has been named as the deputy prime minister, but has not been sworn in.

“His Majesty told me during our meeting today, ‘I am impressed with her (Dr Wan Azizah). She did not mince her words and said she only wanted her husband back safe’,” Anwar said, recounting what the Yang di-Pertuan Agong said to him following his pardon and release today.

“His Majesty told me to cherish her (Dr Wan Azizah) as it is very difficult to find such a (loyal and loving) wife,” Anwar added, smiling.

Anwar also sought to explain the apparent delay in the swearing in of Dr Mahathir as PM following the chaotic results of GE14.

“It is the Election Commission’s fault. They did not report to His Majesty and submit the complete report until the very next day!” Anwar said, stressing that the Agong acted the moment he received all the details of the election results.

Anwar was released from custody at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital this morning after the Agong granted him a full pardon from his sodomy conviction.