Asia

Malaysia’s ruling party makes fresh push for Anwar to take over as PM

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MELAKA: Leaders of Malaysia's ruling party on Sunday (Dec 8) renewed a push for Anwar Ibrahim to lead the country, as Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad dithers on the timing of the planned power transition he had promised to his former rival-turned-ally.

Mahathir, elected to power in May 2018, had promised to hand over the reins to Anwar, 72, soon after laying the groundwork for a new administration.

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But Mahathir has said he may need more time to repair the damage left by the scandal-tainted government of his predecessor, Najib Razak, while Anwar grapples with deep-seated factionalism within his own People's Justice Party (PKR), the largest member of the ruling coalition.

"As far as I am concerned there has been clarity (that it will happen), except for the time," Anwar told a news conference after PKR's annual congress in Melaka, about 150km from the country's capital Kuala Lumpur.

"But let us work out an acceptable formula so that the transition is smooth and orderly."

Hundreds of delegates were seen holding "Anwar PM-8" placards at Sunday's congress, a year after he was elected the party's president.

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PKR was formed 20 years ago to carry on Anwar's reform agenda, after he was first jailed on what he has said were trumped-up charges of corruption and sodomy.

READ: 'My patience has its limit', says Anwar as he urges PKR unity

Anwar, who would be the country's eighth premier should he take power, has been jailed twice, receiving a second sodomy conviction in 2015. He was granted a royal pardon last May.

Last week, Anwar denied fresh allegations that he had sexually assaulted a former male aide, describing the accusation as "politics at its worst".

"This is not an ordinary annual conference. It is an important platform for Anwar to legitimise his posiRead More – Source