“He will never get that spot,” said Dr Mahathir in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Wednesday 7 July, 2007 when asked by the interviewer how he viewed Anwar’s chances of making a comeback to mainstream politics. Asked why Anwar, now adviser to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), cannot become the prime minister, Dr Mahathir said the former deputy prime minister was losing his followers very fast.
“You can tell people something and people will believe it for a short time but later on they are bound to discover whether you are telling the truth or you are lying to them,” he said.
Dr Mahathir sacked Anwar in September 1998 for immoral conduct and corrupt practice. Anwar served a six-year jail term after he was convicted for corruption. He was released from prison in 2004 after the Federal Court overturned his sodomy conviction.
Anwar is barred from returning to active politics until April 14 next year.
On Wednesday, Dr Mahathir succeeded in his bid to quash the defamation suit brought by Anwar for accusing him of being a homosexual at a conference hosted by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).
The following day, Anwar filed a notice of appeal.