Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Ht World - As­so­ci­ated Press let­ters@hin­dus­tan­ ■

SIN­GA­PORE:Malaysia’s des­ig­nated prime min­is­ter-in-wait­ing, An­war Ibrahim, said Satur­day that he has no rea­son to doubt his for­mer po­lit­i­cal neme­sis will hand over the lead­er­ship po­si­tion within two years as planned af­ter sort­ing out deep-seated is­sues like cor­rup­tion.

An­war and Prime Min­is­ter Ma­hathir Mo­hamad put aside their 20-year feud to help their four-party al­liance win elec­tions in May, lead­ing to the coun­try’s first change of power since in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain in 1957.

An­war, 70, was con­victed of sodomy in 2015 in a case that he said was po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated. He was freed and par­doned by the king shortly af­ter the re­cent elec­tions.

The al­liance had agreed that Ma­hathir would be prime min­is­ter and then hand over the reins to An­war. On Satur­day, An­war said that con­test­ing a by-elec­tion af­ter a law­maker from his party re­signed ear­lier in the week was “well within the plan” of his even­tual suc­ces­sion, but that he was in no rush to take over.

“I think the suc­ces­sion plan is as agreed,” An­war said. “Let Prime Min­is­ter Ma­hathir con­duct the af­fairs of the state. We sup­port him, that’s im­por­tant. And I don’t think we should be rush­ing to it, be­cause he’s play­ing a very crit­i­cal role for the coun­try.”

“The coun­try needs sta­bil­ity and a strong leader now and I want to make sure that he is ef­fec­tive in his po­si­tion,” he added.

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