My wife won’t be DPM when I become PM, says Anwar

Ben Tan
PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim addresses Johor PKR members during the state party’s Maal Hijrah programme in Johor Baru September 14, 2018. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, Sept 14 — Incoming PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today assured his supporters that his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, will step down from her deputy prime minister’s post once he becomes the prime minister.

He said that there was no rush for Dr Wan Azizah to give up said post in the Cabinet as it will be a loss for PKR and the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led government

“Now is not the time for Dr Wan Azizah to relinquish her Cabinet post. If she does, then PKR will also lose the deputy prime minister post,” he said in his Maal Hijrah address to Johor PKR members at the Kompleks Warisan Sultan Abu Bakar here today.

About 500 PKR members attended the “Hijrah ke Arah Malaysia Baharu” programme, followed by a close-door meeting with state PKR leaders.

Anwar, who will soon be contesting the parliamentary Port Dickson seat, also gave his word that he was not looking to immediately join the administration if he wins the by-election.

“I will give way for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to take on the prime minister’s post until it is my turn to take over.

“So, please be patient. When I am appointed (to the prime minister’s post), Wan Azizah will step down (from the deputy prime minister’s post),” he said, adding that there was no need for people to call for her immediate resignation.

Recently, many groups, including the National Patriots Association (Patriot) and former Malaysian Bar president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, have raised their concerns over “potential nepotism” in the government with Anwar’s possible return to mainstream politics if he wins the by-election.

Patriot president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamad Arshad Raji said that Anwar was creating a family dynasty in Parliament and should have asked his wife or daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar to make way for him, instead of Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah.

Earlier this week, Danyal Balagopal announced his resignation as the Port Dickson MP in a move to force a by-election that will pave the way for Anwar to return to Parliament.

Anwar, who is PKR president-elect, is seeking to cement his progression as the next prime minister after Dr Mahathir through the democratic process.

On PKR’s coming election, 71-year-old Anwar warned those vying for positions within the party to stop using money or threats to garner votes from delegates.

“I want this (money and threats) to end because it will be me who will sign the appointment letters (surat wartikah) for those who want to become the party’s candidates in the next general election,” said Anwar.

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