KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Anwar Ibrahim said on Friday (Aug 30) that he has never offered to be a member of the Cabinet, and is still set on taking over the premiership from Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad when the time comes.
His comments come a day after Dr Mahathir said in response to questions from reporters about Mr Anwar that there are currently no vacancies in the Malaysian Cabinet.
Mr Anwar said: “I have never offered myself to be a member of the Cabinet.
“I am tied to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) consensus that I should be given full space for Dr Mahathir to lead the present Cabinet and the understanding is that I will assume at the right moment."
Talk of a Cabinet reshuffle has surfaced from time to time since Dr Mahathir led Pakatan Harapan to a shock victory in the general election last year.
While Dr Mahathir was appointed as prime minister, it was agreed that Mr Anwar would eventually take over the premiership, although the deadline of this transition has been an issue of contention.
On Thursday, Dr Mahathir was pressed on whether he would bring Mr Anwar into his Cabinet considering his recent remarks about a portfolio reshuffle.
He replied by saying that there were currently no vacancies as no ministers had indicated their intention to resign.
“We are not adding, making any change or any increase in the number of members of the Cabinet. There is no discussion on Cabinet portfolio change as well,” he said.
Mr Anwar said on Friday that he would only assume the prime minister’s post at the right moment.
“There is no issue at all whether I would like to be a member of the Cabinet. I made it very clear,” he said.
Separately, Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is Mr Anwar's wife, said that there will be a vacancy in the Cabinet when Dr Mahathir steps down.
"I guess (there will only be a vacancy in Cabinet) when the prime minister vacates the seat as promised," she said when asked to comment on Dr Mahathir's Thursday remarks, according to the Star.