Mahathir will play statesman role when I become PM, says Anwar -The Asian Age

Parti Keadilan Rakyat's president Anwar Ibrahim said on Wednesday that he will discuss the succession plan with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, with the latter playing the role of a statesman after stepping down.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the National Youth Convention 2019, Anwar said the details of the succession plan, including the dates would be agreed between them, reports Channel News Asia. "I have no problem at all as Dr Mahathir has a role to play now and must be given space.

"Even if I take over the leadership, Dr Mahathir will still play the role of a statesman as he has contributed much to the country," said the prime minister-in-waiting, adding that communication between the two of them has been happening "in a good manner".

Dr Mahathir, who led Pakatan Harapan (PH) to a shock victory in the last general election, is back to helm the country as the seventh prime minister. Prior to the election, PH said Dr Mahathir would be the prime minister-designate, while Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would be the deputy prime minister-designate. PH said Mr Anwar would be the country's eighth prime minister.

Anwar was then serving a five-year sentence for sodomy, a charge he maintains to be politically motivated.  Following PH's victory, he received a royal pardon, and later returned to the parliament as Port Dickson lawmaker via a by-election.

The coalition was said to have agreed on a two-year period for Dr Mahathir to sit at the country's highest office before passing the baton to Anwar. Dr Mahathir, who has often been asked about the transition, said that he would stay in power.