Dr M: Not the time yet to discuss Anwar’s release

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KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he feels the time has not come yet to discuss the release of jailed former Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The former prime minister said no promises could be made about the agenda stated by PPBM President Muhyiddin Yassin and it could only be considered if the party was in power.

Muhyiddin had expressed support for the release of Anwar and pledged to make that the agenda of the PPBM struggle.

Dr Mahathir said: “All plans of the party will come later. Now, we cannot make any promises because we are powerless.

“If that is the desire of all, surely we cannot say no. We will look into the efforts (to release Anwar) later.”

Mahathir spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the 55th annual meeting of the Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim).

He also said he had yet to decide whether to attend the Bersih 5 rally on Nov 19 and had no plans as yet to address the gathering.

Dr Mahathir was returned unopposed as Perkim president for 2016-2019.

Abu Bakar Shaari retained the post of permanent chairman by beating Husain Anjang Pulau, a candidate from the Kuala Langat branch.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Perkim Vice-President Shahidan Kassim said if the Opposition political parties took up the agenda to “free Anwar”, they should also campaign for the release of other prisoners.

“If you want to have Anwar released, then you must also free all the others.

“If the struggle is to release just one individual, what about the plight of the other prisoners?

“Perhaps they (the others) are too small that they escape notice?”