PKR reaffirms transition plan for Anwar to succeed Mahathir

Anwar Ibrahim (seated, in white) speaking to the media after chairing the PKR central leadership council meeting earlier today at the party’s headquarters.

PETALING JAYA: PKR today reaffirmed its support for the transition plan agreed to by the four Pakatan Harapan coalition partners for Anwar Ibrahim to succeed Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.

Anwar said the party does not feel this reaffirmation is actually necessary.

“But because of the continuous questions on the issue of transition, we find it necessary to reaffirm our position and express our satisfaction with the ongoing process,” the PKR president said.

Anwar said many today had reacted “negatively” to the matter — even when Mahathir himself had reiterated his position that he will abide by the promise and step down for Anwar.

“Still they will read between the lines, (say that) one or two words are missing or make one or two insinuations. These are completely irrelevant to me.”

He added that during his weekly private exchanges with Mahathir, he was satisfied with his reassurances on the transition and does not have any doubts that it will not take place.

“He (Mahathir) has been very genuine and frank.

“I don’t think it is necessary for us to share these issues that we raised between us (to the public)… As far as I am concerned, as far as he is concerned, it is a done deal.”

Anwar was speaking to reporters after chairing the monthly central leadership council meeting with party leaders at the PKR headquarters here.

Under a deal struck by the Pakatan Harapan leadership, Anwar is supposed to succeed Mahathir as prime minister in two years’ time.

But in May, Mahathir assured that while he would hand over the reins to Anwar as promised, no time-frame had been given for the transfer of power.

Police report over book against Anwar

Meanwhile, Anwar said another police report had been lodged over the recent alleged blackmail demand over a book said to be disparaging Anwar, written by Yahaya Ismail.

The book issue was brought up by Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul.

Anwar also passed the buck to Johari, who is Kedah PKR chief, when asked about Yahaya’s denial that he was trying to blackmail people over his manuscript, titled “Mengapa Anwar Tak Boleh Jadi PM” (Why Anwar Ibrahim cannot be PM).

Johari had accused Yahaya of trying to demand more than RM400,000 from Anwar not to publish the book.

Yahaya had admitted contacting Johari to negotiate selling the rights to the manuscript to Anwar but denied that it was an extortion attempt.

Yahaya said he wrote the book to prove to himself as a Muslim that Anwar did not have the “right character” to be prime minister.

In the book, there is also a chapter titled “Azmin Ali Bakal PM”, referring to PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali becoming the next prime minister.

Anwar said “nobody takes Yahaya seriously”, adding that most of Yahaya’s books have not been discussed in mainstream academia.

This also comes on the back of a gay sex video scandal. Haziq Aziz, a former private secretary to a deputy minister, has implicated Azmin in the video.

Azmin, who is economic affairs minister, has categorically denied the claim, saying it is an attempt to ruin his image and destroy his political career. He has threatened to sue.

Haziq has challenged Azmin to take legal action against him if the minister was confident of his innocence.