Last Updated: 2018-05-16
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia May 16 (NNN-Bernama) -- PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said that he would not make an immediate return to politics, but instead would give his full support to the new government led by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and deputy prime minister-designate Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Anwar, who has just been released on a royal pardon earlier today, said he would take some time off to spend with his family and to give lectures at several universities overseas.

Speaking at his first press conference at his residence in Segambut, here, Anwar said he had expressed his full support for Dr Mahathir's leadership to enable the newly-elected prime minister deliver the agenda and implement necessary reforms effectively.

“And I don’t think I would want to be seen as being hasty to demand or insist for any immediate timeframe and I have told him (Mahathir) that I got invitations from renowned universities around the world to give a series of lectures, but I’m not going to stay there for a few years, so don't worry.

“But naturally, it would take weeks or months...from Harvard, Stamford and other universities because I think I have a small contribution to show that the voice of reason and moderation in Islam is paramount and Muslim can be counted upon to ensure freedom and justice,” he said.

Asked if he would play any role in deciding Dr Mahathir’s cabinet line-up, Anwar said as the premier, it was Dr Mahathir’s prerogative to form the cabinet, but he was given assurance that the prime minister would consult all PH component party leaders before deciding on its composition.

On his readiness to accept any post if offered, Anwar said: “I have informed Mahathir that it is better for him, Wan Azizah and the team to continue and just allow me take some time for my family, even though it is my wife who will be deputy prime minister. ”

“I think Dr Mahathir will certainly welcome that sort of decision, because I told him, I will be kept informed, I will of course be interested to know what is happening, but I don't need to serve the cabinet for now,” he said.

Anwar had served a five-year jail sentence since February 2015 following his conviction for sodomy. He was originally scheduled for release on June 8.--NNN-BERNAMA