PKR president Anwar Ibrahim said he had always believed Dr Mahathir Mohamad would hand over the premiership to the former.
“It’s true. Now we know. At the time we didn’t know. (We thought he was a) man of honour. You gave a commitment publicly, we believed you.
“Somehow or rather, he says ‘no, no, no… that is not what I meant. You (have to) prove (majority support) yourself’,” said Anwar (above, left) in an interview Sin Chew Daily published today.
Mahathir (above, right), on behalf of Bersatu, had signed an agreement on January 2018 which nominated him as Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for prime minister.
That agreement stated that he would make way for Anwar to succeed him, but no date was set.
The transition became a focal point of much of the Harapan government’s 22-month rule, coming to a head in mid-February this year.
Following the collapse of the Harapan government in late-February, Mahathir has publicly said many times that he would have stepped down as prime minister after November.
But at no point did he state he was committed to ensuring that his party would support Anwar as his successor.
During the interview, Anwar accused Mahathir of being fully aware of the plot by Bersatu leaders to withdraw from Harapan to form a new government, but did nothing to stop it.
Anwar said this was evident from the leaked audio recordings of Bersatu meetings.
Anwar said that despite now knowing Mahathir’s true feelings and intentions, he was still open to cooperating with the latter but will not support him as prime minister again.
“Forgiveness is a virtue. This is what Confucius once said and it is in line with Islamic teachings,” said Anwar.
On Mahathir’s claim that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had mooted Warisan president Mohd Shafie Apdal as a possible prime minister candidate, Anwar said he believed this narrative to be untrue.
“That is Mahathir’s version. I believe Lim,” said Anwar.