KUALA TERENGGANU, Terengganu: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday (Sep 26) urged people not to "indulge in political instigation" regarding his relationship with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Speaking at a gathering of Terengganu PKR leaders and members, Anwar said he was incapable of refuting all negative assumptions and rumours regarding his relationship with Mahathir, but called for support for the current prime minister.
"I made the decision to be together with the PKR and PH (Pakatan Harapan) leadership; the (national) problems we face are massive and we (can't resolve them) if there are problems facing the PH leadership," he said.
"So, we should let the present government be strong, and only under the (leadership of) a firm prime minister can major problems - like 1MDB - be resolved."
He added: "But this has not stopped the people from instigating and making assumptions to get me to fight.
"Don’t instigate me against Mahathir ... we have fought for 20 years. We have made peace. Don’t indulge in political instigation."
Anwar served as Mahathir's deputy from 1993 to 1998, but was sacked and eventually arrested and jailed on disputed charges of sodomy and corruption.
He was released in 2004, but convicted and jailed again for a second time for sodomy in 2015.
Their relationship has since improved, with Mahathir agreeing to pass the premiership to Anwar in two years.
MAHATHIR WON'T GO DOWN TO CAMPAIGN AT PORT DICKSON
Meanwhile Anwar, who is the PH candidate for the Port Dickson by-election next month, said he was not surprised when Mahathir announced he would not be campaigning for him in the by-election.
Anwar added that Mahathir personally informed him of this, saying that he had work constraints as prime minister.
"Since becoming prime minister, he hasn't gone down to campaign for any by-election because I understand that he has other priorities as leader of the country," he said.
"But I know that he would give his cooperation and ask all parties under the PH to join in the campaign ... and he has also advised me to continue to work hard."
Anwar also said he did not underestimate the capabilities of the other candidates contesting against him in the by-election.
IMPORTANT TO MAINTAIN MUTUAL TRUST
Although PKR failed to control the parliamentary and state legislative constituencies in the whole of Terengganu, cordial relations with the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia-led state government should be developed in the interest of the people, said Anwar.
He also said that the actions of several former United Malays National Organisation leaders reported to have joined Mahathir's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) did not jeopardise relations between PKR and its allies in the PH.
He said that like the other parties that were under the PH patronage, PKR would continue to maintain cooperation and mutual trust with Bersatu and other component parties in the coalition.
"We are still a strong party within the Pakatan Harapan ... as long as our ties are well maintained, I should not have any doubt,” he said.
In addition, Anwar also said he sternly rejected any PKR member involved in corruption and anyone found guilty of such crimes would be dismissed.