Anwar: Cooperation with Dr M 'essential' in BN's defeat

  • May 16, 2018
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The partnership with Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad had been essential in toppling BN’s 61-year rule over Malaysia, the PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has said during an interview.

He reportedly told the Sydney Morning Herald that after spending many years working with Mahathir, he understood that Mahathir cared deeply about Malaysia.

Anwar said: “A new partnership was essential to overcome the deeply entrenched, corrupt system that was presiding over Malaysia.

"Our litmus test has always been supporting the reform agenda.

"So long as there is sincere commitment to these principles, we have always welcomed new supporters. The animosity which preoccupies some observers is not an issue for me.”

He reportedly expressed confidence that he would be able to work together with his former mentor once more.

He had been Mahathir’s protégé during the latter’s previous administration, until Mahathir sacked him as deputy prime minister in 1998 on grounds of sodomy and corruption, triggering the Reformasi movement and the formation of PKR.

Anwar was sentenced to jail in 1999, but was freed in 2004 after his sodomy verdict was overturned.

Anwar had been serving a five-year prison sentence for a separate sodomy conviction and was due for an early release in June.

Following last week's shocking election results which saw the previous BN-government toppled, he is now being fast-tracked for a royal pardon.

He, in fact, could be released today and if it is approved, would be able to resume active politics immediately.

In his interview, Anwar reportedly told the SMH that he hopes Pakatan Harapan’s recent electoral victory would give hope to people all around the world, at a time when democracy is in retreat.

However, he cautioned that Malaysia will still have challenges ahead, and “one election does not a democracy make”.

The urgent tasks ahead include addressing systemic racism, judicial independence, rule of law, free media, and ensuring a proper separation of powers, he reportedly said.