Anwar was right to refuse govt job, says analyst

Analyst Khoo Kay Peng says Anwar would probably want to get himself sorted out. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Anwar Ibrahim would have needed time to regain his footing after spending three years in prison instead of rushing to take up a role in government, according to political analyst Khoo Kay Peng.

Khoo said Anwar had made the right call.

Yesterday Anwar had said Dr Mahathir Mohamad offered him a position in the government, but he declined in order to give the new prime minister time to fix the important issues in the country.

“After being behind bars for so many years he has a lot to catch up on. He would want to reconnect with his global connections and entertain media who would want to interview him.

“He would probably want to get himself sorted out and let the changes of the last three years sink in. After being away for a few years, he could have been left quite disconnected with politics as well as national, regional and international developments.

“The world now is much more connected and is much more technologically driven. The type of requirements for people to lead this country now is quite different compared to when he was finance minister more than 20 years ago,” he told FMT.

“The worrying trend is the thin line between nepotism and coincidence in this new government. There are family members and siblings involved in the government. They had cautioned against this very trait before, and now being in the government, they at least have to be seen to be independent and act it as well.

“While granted that a lot of them are actually qualified, it still isn’t a healthy trend as there are very dominant families in the government that could dictate how this country is run.

“He knows that this new government came into power by making a lot of propositions and promises which the people accepted and will hold them accountable for.”

Anwar, who was freed on May 15 after spending three years in jail, said he would for the time being go on a tour around the country to thank voters for their support and to spend time with his family.

Anwar was pardoned by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of a sodomy conviction in 2015 and of other offences dating back to 1998. He was due to be released from prision in June but would be barred from being active in politics for a further five years.

Anwar: Dr M offered me a government post but I said no