KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Former two-time prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has set his sights on the premiership for the third time and is confident he can show whoever succeeds him how things can be handled and resolved.
In an interview with Malaysiakini, the 94-year-old said he is looking at a half-year tenure as prime minister should Pakatan Harapan (PH) regain power, adding that he intends to fulfil his promise and hand over power to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“When the time comes, I will keep my word. You can check my conduct when I was prime minister and even before that. I have never reneged on my promise,” he said in a video conference from his office in Putrajaya.
Despite scepticism among PKR members of Dr Mahathir keeping his promise, he said he has always kept his end of the bargain, citing his first retirement at the end of 2002 after over two decades as prime minister.
“At the time, Lim Kit Siang said it would be impossible for me to resign, and that all of this is sandiwara (theatrics).
“As we now know, when the time came, I resigned. I never reneged on my promises. Show me when I did not keep my word,” Dr Mahathir said.
He said he will still adhere to the original plan of stepping down after the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit slated for this November in Kuala Lumpur, which he promised several months before the Pakatan government collapsed in February.
“It might be cancelled due to Covid-19 but after Apec which is at the end of the year, I would step down.
“I am confident I can show the way to my successor on how to achieve the things which need to be done as prime minister,” Dr Mahathir said.
He added that much remains to be done should “Harapan Plus” retake the reins of government, seeing as it has to undo the damage caused by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s tenure, alongside anything that has happened under current Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.