Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that it was not the time to discuss about the release of jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
Pointing out that his party was powerless now to free Anwar anyway, Mahathir indicated that the issue can be discussed only if PPBM had grabbed federal powers in 14th General Election (GE14).
The former premier said no promises could be made about the agenda stated by PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin, adding that it could only be considered if the party was in power.
Muhyiddin has expressed support for the release of Anwar and pledged to make that the agenda of the PPBM struggle.
“All plans of the party will come later. Now, we cannot make any promises because we are powerless.
“If that is the desire of all, surely we cannot say no,” Dr Mahathir told reporters on the sidelines of the 55th annual meeting of the Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim) today.
“We will look into the efforts to free Anwar later.”
On Bersih 5.0, Mahathir has not decided on whether to attend, let alone addressing the annual ‘yellow’ rally scheduled on Nov 19.
Dr Mahathir was returned unopposed as the Perkim president for 2016-2019.
Dr Abu Bakar Shaari retained the post of permanent chairman by beating Husain Anjang Pulau, a candidate from the Kuala Langat branch.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Perkim vice-president Dr Shahidan Kassim said if the opposition political parties took up the agenda to ‘free Anwar’, they should also campaign for the release of other prisoners.
“If you want to have Anwar released, then you must also free all the others.
If the struggle is to release just one individual, what about the plight of the other prisoners?
“Perhaps they (the others) are too small that they escape unnoticed?” he asked.