PUTRAJAYA, 27 Aug 2008: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad doubts that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could be the next prime minister despite winning the Permatang Pauh by-election yesterday.
The former prime minister believes that Anwar will not be able to get at least 30 Members of Parliament from Barisan Nasional (BN) to cross over to the opposition to form a simple-majority government.
"He (Anwar) may think that he can buy them but other bidders may have more money," he told reporters at Perdana Leadership Foundation here today.
Mahathir was asked to comment on Anwar’s return to Parliament after defeating BN candidate Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah with a majority of 15,671 votes in the by-election.
He said the government should take note of the message sent by the voters this time, five months after the general election.
"Parti Keadilan Rakyat did not win the by-election but BN lost the by-election," he said.
Mahathir said he was afraid that the decreasing BN popularity within five months after the general election occurred not in Permatang Pauh only but was a trend in other constituencies as well.
He reiterated his call for his successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down following this decline. – Bernama