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Not popular enough? Dr Mahathir gives reason why Anwar not eligible to be PM

Not popular enough? Dr Mahathir gives reason why Anwar not eligible to be PM
Dr Mahathir said Anwar failed to get the support of the Malays in three previous elections. - FILEpic
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday revealed that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is not eligible to be the prime ministerial candidate for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

According to the eighth prime minister, Anwar, who is also Member of Parliament for Port Dickson is not popular among the Malays while emphasising the fact that such support was crucial for any party to win the elections.
"And because he (Anwar) is not as popular to be the head of a multiracial party, he needed a Malay leader who is able to help win the election.

"So, I (Dr Mahathir) am with him in this election with me as a candidate for prime minister. I think we will have the support of the Malays," he said in an interview with CNBC today.
Elaborating, the Langkawi Member of Parliament said Anwar failed to get the support of the Malays in three previous elections.

He added Anwar also could not run for office at that time because he was still in prison.

Anwar was jailed in 2015 for sodomy and released on May 16, 2018 after obtaining a royal pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

"When I led the opposition party, we won and this was an achievement because for 60 years, Malaysia was led by the government of the same party.

"This is the first time a (government) change has been achieved," he added.

Asked why he made the decision to resign as prime minister in February, Dr Mahathir said it was because the component parties of PH had rejected his views not to leave the government coalition.

"They rejected my proposal, and after that rejection ... they wanted me to lead the party with the previous government.

"I have always opposed the previous government because of the scandal they were involved in. So, I refused to work with the party that lost the election (14th General Election)," he said.