Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (left) and his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail arrive at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, Malaysia, in this file pic dated Nov 3, 2013. Anwar Ibrahim is expected to be pardoned and released from custody, on May 16. EPA-EFE

Kuala Lumpur: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is not rushing to appoint de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister. The hand over of power will proceed according to plan and take place during the mid-term of the new administration.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the new administration under Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would strive to ensure the smooth running of the country.

“Indeed, we are going to build the government under Tun to run smoothly and change as much as we want, especially the demands for reform we have been emphasising all this time,” she said after visiting Anwar at the Cheras Rehabilitation Centre here today.

She said her husband’s health was improving.

“No... (rush to appoint Anwar as prime minister) because that is one of the things we have already planned,” she added.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (centre) speaks to reporters while leaving the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. Pic by ASYRAF HAMZAH

Dr Wan Azizah was commenting on a statement by former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin during an interview with Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper today. He reminded the PH government not to appoint Anwar as the prime minister immediately upon his return to Parliament.

Daim, one of the five members of the Government Council of Elders appointed by Dr Mahathir, said it would be stupid to change prime ministers now. He said the transfer of power should take place during the mid-term of the new government.

He said he had met Anwar and told him: “You have all tried your luck many times in the general elections but failed.

“Whether you like it or not, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad managed to do so (succeeded).

“If you fail to keep your promise to the people, they will not believe you anymore.”

Dr Mahathir had promised to stay on as prime minister for two years before handing over power to Anwar, while Dr Wan Azizah would be made deputy prime minister.

Anwar, 70, is expected to be released tomorrow.

He was scheduled to be released from the Sungai Buloh prison on June 8 on good behaviour.

The former deputy prime minister was sentenced to five years’ jail for allegedly sodomising his former personal assistant.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, has agreed to grant Anwar a royal pardon at the Pardons Board Meeting at Istana Negara at 11am tomorrow.

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