PORT DICKSON: PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim has declared that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the best man to lead the country.
Anwar, who is Pakatan Harapan’s candidate in the Port Dickson by-election, said that the partnership between him and Mahathir, would once again be the strongest in history.
“The mess that 1MDB has caused is severe. After Mahathir saw this, he saw the need to work together, to change the country’s political landscape, thus creating history.
“And this is why I want to step forward with him (Mahathir) to help save the country,” he said, addressing a 4,000-strong crowd at a ceramah here, where he also pointed out that he was sharing the stage for the first time in 20 years with Mahathir.
Anwar said he was extremely angry with former prime minister Najib Razak for what the latter had done to the country, including destroying almost all the institutions.
“This included those that were set up for the people’s welfare.
“That is why we need to cleanse and restore the integrity of these institutions,” he said.
He acknowledged that the best person to do this was none other than Mahathir.
“I am saying this with all sincerity. I know him, and I love him as a father, a leader. I accept him as the best man to lead Malaysia now.
“I am touched that a statesman like Mahathir is willing to put aside all ill-feelings and work together to save the country,” he said.
In 1998, Mahathir sacked Anwar as his deputy and later from the ruling party Umno, accusing Anwar of being a homosexual and also abusing his authority.
Anwar was also sentenced to six years in prison for corruption on Apr 14, 1999, and a second time to nine years for sodomy on Aug 8, 2000.
In the second sodomy case, on Feb 10, 2015, the Federal Court sentenced Anwar to five years’ jail for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
On May 16 this year, Anwar was granted a royal pardon by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Tonight, Anwar recalled his discussion with Mahathir, where he expressed his desire to return to Parliament and to ensure that it would no longer be deemed as a “rubber stamp”.
“I was finance minister for eight years, and I have never seen the country’s financial status in such a mess. Thankfully I am not the finance minister now,” he said.
As a prime minister, Anwar said, Mahathir has never gone to ground to campaign in a by-election, but this time, he was willing to campaign for him.
“I know him, and I know he is a stern man, a man who can be hardheaded, but a man who made the decision to get the country out of its current state.
“For that, I salute you, sir,” he told Mahathir.
The Port Dickson seat fell vacant after its incumbent Danyal Balagopal Abdullah stepped down to make way for Anwar.
In the May elections, Danyal, a former naval officer, won with 36,225 votes, beating Barisan Nasional’s VS Mogan (18,515 votes) and PAS’ Mahfuz Roslan (6,594 votes) in the May 9 general election.