Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he may stay on as Malaysia’s premier for “one or two years” while Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says there is no rush to make Anwar PM.
Dr Mahathir made the remarks today via video conference to a Wall Street Journal conference in Tokyo.
Dr Wan Azizah said that Pakatan Harapan wants a smooth transition of government under the leadership of Dr Mahathir.
“We want his administration to bring about the changes and reformation that is needed,” she said.
Dr Mahathir said that PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim may just join the cabinet for a while after his expected release from prison on Wednesday.
Daim Zainuddin, who heads the Team of Eminent Persons, had earlier said it is not the time for an immediate change of premiership.
The prime minister also said that he may soon bring a case against former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was barred from leaving Malaysia last week.
Dr Mahathir said he wouldn’t cut a deal with Najib if any wrongdoing was found in a corruption probe into state fund 1MDB.
“We think that within a short while we will have a case against him,” he said. “We will be able to charge him.”
Mahathir has sought to consolidate power since leading a four-party opposition coalition to a shocking election win last week. Questions over how long he plans to stay on as prime minister risk undermining an agenda that included scrapping a goods-and-services tax, reviewing large infrastructure projects and cutting spending.
“I expect some resistance,” Mahathir said of differences in his coalition government in forming the cabinet. “So far we have been able to resolve. It is accepted that the final decision will be made by me.”
Mahathir again pledged to reduce corruption and said he’d stop collecting taxes that are “oppressive.” He said there was currently no need for capital controls, and his government wouldn’t allow any “fiddling” with the value of currencies.
On Anwar’s release, Dr Wan Azizah said it is not known when the exact timing will be.
“The Pardons Board is scheduled to sit at 11am tomorrow (Wednesday) and we won’t know how long it will take before he is set free,” she said.
She said Anwar is recovering well after undergoing treatment and physiotherapy at the centre.
Anwar is scheduled to address the Himpunan Merdeka Rakyat gathering at Padang Timur at 10pm on Wednesday (May 16).
“God willing, we will wait to see if he (Anwar) will be able to attend the gathering tomorrow night,” she added.