Anwar plotted against me right after pardon, says Dr Mahathir

(TMI) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad has accused Anwar Ibrahim of going behind his back to rally support after the jailed politician was pardoned in 2018.

The former prime minister alleged Anwar met with the royalty and other parties to shore up support for himself instead of supporting the Pakatan Harapan administration.

“When I arranged for his release and pardon, he did not support me. Instead, he went around meeting everyone, he met with the royalty, foreign powers and many more,” Dr Mahathir said in an interview with Malaysian Gazette yesterday.

The Langkawi MP said he mulled on the idea of bringing Anwar to his cabinet but did not after what the latter did and the solid performance of former deputy prime minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Anwar’s wife.

“He was not supporting me. He was instead being critical. How could I bring him into the cabinet?

“If he wanted to be in cabinet, I should drop his wife but his wife was doing a good job (as the DPM). She was an expert on women. How could I throw her and bring him in?”

He denied going back on his promise to hand over the top post to Anwar but developing events at that time derailed his plans.

“I already promised to step down, when that happens, he can take the position.

“I promised after Apec, now even before Apec I left the post,” Dr Mahathir said.

The 95-year-old first served as prime minister for 22 years as the former Umno president. Anwar was Dr Mahathir’s deputy and finance minister in the 1990s.

Dr Mahathir said there were Umno leaders who were apprehensive against Anwar but despite that, he brought the young leader in.

“When he was young, he was active. I was the only one who wanted him in Umno.

“A lot of Umno leaders rejected, they were angry with me. But I said we have to give a chance to the youth. He rose in the party until he became deputy prime minister.”

Last week, Anwar claimed to have an overwhelming majority to take over the government from Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional.

The Port Dickson MP said he spoke to the king after the monarch was admitted to the National Heart Institute early last week.

Current Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said his party members were free to pledge their support to Anwar, if they want.

Dr Mahathir said it was true PN and Prime Minister Muhyiddin was weak as the ruling coalition only has a two-vote majority.

“No Malaysian prime minister has this narrow of a majority. Even if two or three people reject Muhyiddin, his government will fall,” he said.

However, Dr Mahathir is not convinced that Anwar has a strong majority.

He added that his party Pejuang does not support the PKR president yet.

“Muhyiddin falling is one thing, but supporting Anwar is another story.

“This (Anwar’s number) does not include me and the six from Pejuang. Without us, he claims he has a big majority.”