Khairuddin Abu Hassan, a stalwart of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, today claimed that PKR president Anwar Ibrahim is unworthy to lead the country and suggested that he may go on a campaign to block his rise.
He said this in response to PKR veteran Syed Husin Ali who had criticised Mahathir for not committing to a clear transition plan and questioned if Pakatan Harapan leaders were no longer capable of standing up to the prime minister.
"I want to remind the fools in PKR not to go overboard. Don't be insolent.
"The reality is Anwar is unworthy to lead race, religion and country.
"For now, I will only make a general statement. Wait for a suitable time and I may come forward to explain to Malaysians why Anwar should not be given space to lead the ummah in our country," he said in a statement.
Khairuddin (above) was the coordinator of the Citizens' Declaration which marked the beginning of a convergence between government defectors and the opposition in 2016, culminating in the formation of Bersatu and its entry to Pakatan Harapan that came to power in 2018.
He later left Bersatu for unknown reasons but contested in the 14th general election last year under an Amanah ticket.
Even though Khairuddin is no longer formally associated with Bersatu, which Mahathir leads, he has consistently attacked Mahathir's critics.
He warned Syed Husin to watch his mouth, warning that there may be a repeat of the "dark incident" in 1998.
Mahathir had on Sept 2, 1998 sacked Anwar as deputy prime minister and subsequently had him jailed on sodomy and corruption charges.
Both leaders reconciled in 2016 in an effort to oust then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak who is accused as a kleptocrat who brought about the 1MDB scandal.
"Hypocritical leaders like Anwar is unworthy to lead the country.
"The people should not worry as Allah will show the truth like in 1998.
"Once more, the weak-minded in PKR should remember not to court a repeat of the dark incident in 1998," he said.
Mahathir's nomination as prime minister in the last general election was based on an agreement within Harapan that he will eventually hand over power to Anwar.
Mahathir had initially said he will do so around two years but has in other interviews also suggested that this could take up to three years.