Anwar may not keep all of Mahathir’s policies, says analyst

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Pakatan Harapan’s successor of choice, Anwar Ibrahim.

PETALING JAYA: A political analyst has voiced doubt that Anwar Ibrahim will maintain all of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s policies once he takes over as prime minister.

Azmi Hassan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia noted that both were ambiguous in their responses to a question on the continuity of policies that was asked at a press conference on Monday.

He told FMT this was an indication that they both knew policies would change with Anwar’s takeover of the power reins.

Anwar’s response to the question was: “The Tun’s actions are based on Pakatan policies, and I am a Pakatan member. So I think that’s enough said.”

Mahathir’s reply was more lighthearted and he drew laughter from those present. He said: “A Pakatan member must follow the leader. If don’t follow, we whack.”

Azmi said he believed Anwar’s reply was aimed at allaying investors’ concerns.

“Mahathir and Anwar should, however, clarify how the government plans to reduce the country’s debts as this will affect how the national budget is designed in the future,” he added.

Ali Salman, CEO of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, said Anwar had the right to stay silent on policy matters until he had gained executive powers.

He also said he believed every member of Pakatan Harapan (PH) should respect the coalition’s common agenda.

“My personal view is that Mahathir should announce the succession plan by the upcoming budget to allow a smooth transfer of power,” he said.

“This will give the incoming prime minister a reasonable chance to prepare his own team.”

Under a deal struck by the PH leadership, Anwar is supposed to succeed Mahathir, but no date has been set.