Malaysia DPM Wan Azizah admits she was offered PM's post

Giving her views: Dr Wan Azizah talking to the media during a programme in Permatang Nibong in Butterworth, Penang.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

JAKARTA - Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail admits that she was offered the post of Prime Minister after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9.

Sharing the information for the first time with some 200 members of Malaysian diaspora here today, Dr Wan Azizah said the offer came from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V as she was the president of PKR, the party which symbol was used by all PH component party members in the GE14.

"However, I had to turn down the offer because we made a promise (to the people) that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would become Prime Minister and I, the Deputy Prime Minister," she said during the event at the Malaysian Embassy here tonight.

While admitting that PH was also surprised when it managed to put an end to Barisan Nasional's (BN) 61-year rule of the country, Dr Wan Azizah also said that she was grateful that the GE14 was successfully carried out in a very democratic and peaceful manner.

Dr Wan Azizah said even though several promises in the PH manifesto for the GE14 had yet to be fulfilled, she really hoped that all Malaysians would be patient before the government could really implement the desired changes.

To a question on whether the government would evaluate the performance of its ministers and replace those who failed to perform well, she said it was too early to make such evaluation as it had just been five months since the Pakatan government took over administration of the country.

"Give us some time because we are still in the learning curve," she said.

She pointed out that only a handful of the Pakatan ministers had vast experience in administering the country, namely Dr Mahathir and Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, while Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali had experience in state administration.

Dr Wan Azizah also mentioned the proud moment when she became the first woman to chair a Cabinet meeting when Dr Mahathir was abroad.

Dr Wan Azizah is on a day visit to Indonesia, which is her first after being appointed as Deputy Prime Minister on May 21.