KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim admitted that he was disappointed at not being able to become prime minister after four decades in the Malaysian political scene.
However, the 72-year-old PKR president stressed that he would not be able to shoulder the burden of being the PM should he be destined to live until his nineties.
In an interview with radio station BFM today, the Port Dickson member of parliament was asked to comment on former PM Tun Dr Mahathir's Mohamad's remarks that Anwar was "crazy" for the PM post.
"Who is crazy to continue to be PM at the age of 90 or 95?"
"It doesn't make sense. It's unlikely that I would wait until I'm 90 before I can function effectively as the leader of the country.
"I don't think I need to wait 20 more years. That has never crossed my mind," he said.
Anwar had previously waited almost two years for Dr Mahathir to hand the reins to him after Pakatan Harapan formed the government following the 14th general election in 2018.
Dr Mahathir, when he was PM, had said that he would step down after the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit at the end of this year.
However, the dispute over the transition date eventually led to a split within the coalition which led to its break up on Feb 24.
Anwar, who is also the Pakatan de facto chief, said he will "move forward" if he is destined not to become PM.
"Given the opportunity, I think the country needs reform, and I think I can play a small part in that process," he said.
He said he is willing to become the PM in the next eight years, subject to whether Pakatan Harapan can become the government again in the next general election, as well as his health.
He said if he never gets the chance to helm the country, he conceded that while he would be disappointed, he was willing to go into academia, focus on being a grandfather and tending to his fruit trees.
In the interview, Anwar also expressed disappointment with his former party deputy, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, and likened the Gombak MP as a traitor.
Asked on whether he was willing to work with Dr Mahathir in the future withini the PH framework, Anwar said he would do so "when necessary".
Source: New Straits Times