TANJUNG PIAI, January 12 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he has not taken a break from being involved in the country’s politics since 1945, despite retiring from all official posts nearly 15 years ago.
The country’s fourth prime minister, who is now Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman said that he made the decision to step down as the country’s prime minister after 21 years in service back in 2002.
“However, due to the support, I extended my tenure for another year before finally stepping down after leading the country for 22 years.
“I never really had a proper rest and if it was up to me, I never wanted to be the prime minister candidate (for PH). But if I do not accept it, people would say (Lim) Kit Siang will be the prime minister,” he said in jest during his speech at the Kukup Golf and Country Resort here today.
Dr Mahathir was present with his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and accompanied by senior state Opposition leaders from PPBM, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and DAP at the Majlis Jasamu Dikenang event organised by Johor-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) Pertubuhan Kebajikan Prihatin Suara Tanjung Piai here.
More than 400 supporters attended the event.
Dr Mahathir also said that he has yet to pick a parliamentary seat to contest in, despite strong rumours of him contesting in Langkawi.
“I have not made up my mind yet, but Langkawi is an Umno stronghold where in the last general election they won with more than 12,000 votes,” added the 93-year-old.
On his retirement from the government after 22 years, Dr Mahathir alleged that his predecessor did not keep his promises.
He claimed that former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had cancelled infrastructure plans such as the crooked bridge project linking Johor and Singapore, as well as the double-tracking project on his first week as PM.
Dr Mahathir accused Abdullah had backtracked on his promises.
“He (Tun Abdullah) was a person that did not keep his promises, so how can we have such a prime minister?” he questioned.
Dr Mahathir said he had initially supported Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the country’s sixth prime minister after Abdullah due to being indebted to his father the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.
“However, Najib is not like his father whom I have the utmost respect for. The late Tun Abdul Razak really developed the country especially in rural areas,” he said.