I appealed to Dr Mahathir to stay as PM: Anwar


PKR president  Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (picture) revealed that he had appealed to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to stay as Prime Minister in his meeting with the 94-year-old leader earlier today. 

“I was with him (earlier today) and I was informed (about his decision to resign) but I couldn’t announce it until it was released publicly. 

“I did appeal to him (to stay) on behalf of Keadilan (PKR) and Pakatan (Harapan),” he told reporters at PKR headquarters here after having an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at Istana Negara.

The Prime Minister’s Office in a statement today announced that Dr Mahathir has resigned as Prime Minister. 

“Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad submitted his letter of resignation as the Prime Minister of Malaysia today. The letter was sent to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at 1 pm,” the statement said.

When asked on the outcome of the meeting with the King, Anwar said it was just a meeting to express his views and a general discussion in the interest of the country, peace and stability.

Dr Mahathir today also resigned as chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu). The party has also pulled out of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

Dr Mahathir’s resignations as prime minister and Bersatu chairman caught everyone by surprise as he had repeatedly said he wanted to stay on as the Prime Minister until after Malaysia hosts the APEC meeting in November.

The precursor of today’s dramatic announcements was the PH Presidential Council meeting last Friday which was reported to be a heated affair over the matter of the promised power transition. However, Dr Mahathir told a press conference afterwards that the meeting decided that he had the final say over when to step down after the APEC meeting. 

On Sunday, however, political parties from both sides of the divide were huddled in separate meetings as speculation mounted of the possible formation of a new coalition government with different partners.

Meanwhile, Anwar said during the meeting, Dr Mahathir reiterated that he played no part in yesterday’s meeting.  

Anwar also said any changes in Pakatan Harapan government shall be made after Dr Mahathir meets the King this evening. 

When asked whether he would be the eighth Prime Minister in waiting, he replied: “We will see.”