KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was put on the spot in an interview with the Australian Broadcast Channel yesterday.
He was asked point blank if a vote for him would be a vote for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the man he once sacked from government on allegations of sodomy and corruption.
“Well, in a way, it is because I have promised that I would be the prime minister for a short while until he is pardoned,” the former prime minister-turned-Opposition leader told ABC journalist Beverly O’Connor on The World show.
“He needs to be pardoned by the King before he can participate in politics again so, that may take two years, three years.
“I don’t think I want to stay on for much longer because I am conscious about my age and I don’t think I can survive too long or one full term as prime minister,” Dr Mahathir added.
He also admitted to O’Conner that his previous actions towards Anwar, his former deputy, was harsh but insisted it was also justified.
“In those days I felt justified but in comparison to what is happening now, I think what I did was harsh but it was under different circumstances entirely.
“It is important not to look back into the past but look forward into the future but the future can be very bad for us if we continue to look into the animosity of the past,” Dr Mahathir said when O’Conner pointed out the seeming hypocrisy of his current alliance.