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Anwar plans return to politics sooner than expected

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KUALA LUMPUR — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he will give Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as much time as he needs to carry out Pakatan Harapan’s reform pledges, but plans to return to politics much sooner than expected.

“Although there is no time frame (for the succession), it does not mean I cannot be active in politics.

“I should contest for a parliamentary seat sooner,” he told Malay Mail when asked whether he would wait for two years before making a return to politics.

Anwar also said his wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had declined the post of prime minister the day after Pakatan Harapan’s GE14 victory.

He said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong spoke to Dr Wan Azizah on May 10 at Istana Negara.

“His Royal Highness offered Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail the prime ministership. His argument was that Wan Azizah is president of PKR, which has the most MPs in Parliament,” Anwar explained.

But Dr Wan Azizah declined, saying there was already a consensus in PH that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would be PM.

Dr Wan Azizah is now deputy prime minister.

“His majesty told me during our meeting, ‘I am impressed with her (Dr Wan Azizah). She did not mince her words and said she only wanted her husband back safe’,” Anwar said, recounting what the King had said.

“His Highness said, ‘Cherish her as it is very difficult to find such a (loyal and loving) wife’,” Anwar added, smiling.

Anwar also sought to explain the apparent “delay” in Dr Mahathir’s swearing in as PM.

“It is the Election Commission’s fault. They did not report to His Highness and submit the complete report until the very next day!” Anwar said, stressing the King acted the moment he received all the details of the election results.