Anwar grateful for offers of MP seat to contest

PETALING JAYA (Bernama) – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday he greatly appreciated the offer by several members of parliament (MP) to vacate their seats to enable him to contest a by-election and become a Member of Parliament.

However, the People’s Justice Party (PKR) de facto leader who has been returned unopposed as the new president of PKR effective later this year, said he did not wish to rush but wanted to study the situation and also discuss the matter with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Although Pakatan Harapan had by consensus decided that he become the next prime minister, the transition of power must begin with him becoming an MP, he said at a press conference at the PKR headquarters here.

“So, right now, we extend our support to Dr Mahathir to lead and give him room completely to steer the government without pressure and interference.

“If I am elected as an MP, I will become a backbencher, that will be my position. There have been calls and views, and I appreciate them. The process should take place and should start with my becoming a Member of Parliament,” he said.

PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PKR President Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya. – BERNAMA

Anwar said he would discuss with Dr Mahathir the process of reforming Parliament and enabling the institution to function as best as possible with the power not too focussed on the executive.

He hit out at those who had suggested that he should wait for a seat to be vacated through the natural process (of the death an MP) to contest.

“I understand the meaning of the natural process, to wait for the death of an MP. That’s dumb. What I understand is that the consensus view is for the transition of power to take place soon through my participation in Parliament.

“I do not think it is awkward for any MP to offer (his or her seat) for me to take over, but let’s not pray for people to die before their time,” he said.

Anwar said the transition of power was a normal thing and, in his context, the decision on the matter had been made when he was still in jail.

Although the PH consensus was for the transition to take place soon, he felt that it did not have to be done in haste and he considered the PKR elections as the priority at this time. The PKR elections are schedulled for next month.