KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today sought to dispel allegations that he was plotting to ensure Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir Mohamad eventually becomes prime minister after the latter was named as Pakatan Harapan’s second deputy prime minister candidate.
Responding to criticism of the proposed leadership of a new PH government, Dr Mahathir said he has no right to object Mukhriz’s name for his own personal interest when the latter was recommended for certain positions.
He also said the suggestion did not come from him, citing a joint statement dated June 22 issued by Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as having already mentioned Mukhriz’s appointment as DPM 2.
“I am filled with dilemma. I had forbidden my son to involve himself in politics, particularly as a member of the ruling party, when I was prime minister for the first time. I do not want to be accused of practicing nepotism and giving preferential treatment to my family.
“But when I was no longer the prime minister, the responsibility of upholding my name should not be shouldered by my children. They are free to be involved in politics. Whether they are successful or not politically, it depends on themselves,” he said in his latest blog post.
He had earlier acknowledged criticism levelled against him when he named Mukhriz as DPM 2.
“Whether my explanation is believable or not, it is up to everyone. Of course those that antagonise with me will be disagreeable. This I accept because it is after all human nature,” he said.
On June 27, Dr Mahathir confirmed endorsing Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate.
He also said that the next PH Plus government would have two deputy prime ministers and nominated PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as candidate for DPM 1 and Mukhriz as candidate for DPM 2.