Anwar doesn't have majority support, I only want to help him, says Mahathir

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - Claiming that PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim does not have the majority support, former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad expresses his wish to help Anwar.

In an interview with Asia Times, Dr Mahathir, who twice helmed the country as the prime minister, said he had no desire to serve for a third time, but that he has been asked to do so.

He also believed that people would not support an attempt to make a comeback by Pakatan Harapan if Anwar was designated as the prime minister.

"A lot of people feel that, for a time at least, I should come back.

"I have no wish to come back. I mean, coming back three times is a bit too much.

"Again, the appeal by people is there, they all come, they all ask [and say] that if you are in, we will support. If you are not in, we will not support.

"So, I have to take their views seriously because if we in the opposition now want to bring down the present government, we need to have a majority. At the moment, we do not have a majority, " said Dr Mahathir in the interview published on Friday (June 26).

When quizzed about the reason for disagreement or distrust between Anwar and himself, Dr Mahathir it was not about distrust, but about getting the people's support.

"While Anwar used to be very popular, now he has lost quite a bit of that support.

"I believe these people will not support an attempt to make a comeback by Pakatan Harapan if he is designated as prime minister, " he said.

On a question why he had to be the one to forge the majority and not Anwar, Dr Mahathir admitted that Anwar does have certain support but that there are also people who are strongly against him.

"Well, he has certain support, I agree with that. But there are certain people who are so strongly against him that if he is named, they will not give the support.

"And we need quite a number of supporters from the government party so that we can have the majority.

"I fear that there will be no majority if it depends on him alone. I would like to help him, " said Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir resigned as prime minister in February this year, leading to the collapse of the Pakatan government and the rise of Perikatan Nasional, led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

As Pakatan plots a comeback to unseat Muhyiddin, there is a disagreement between PKR and the other Opposition parties on whether Dr Mahathir or Anwar should be the ninth prime minister.