KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today it was not him but Amanah and DAP which had proposed that his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz be a deputy prime minister candidate if the opposition came to power.
He said this was attested to in the joint statement issued by Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng on Monday.
“I am in a difficult position. When I was prime minister the first time, I had prohibited my children from being active in politics, specifically as politicians of government parties.
“I did not want to be accused of nepotism, giving special privileges to my family,” he said his latest posting on his blog chedet.cc, today.
However, the Member of Parliament for Langkawi said that when he was no longer (the fourth) prime minister, the responsibility to safeguard his name did not have to be continue to borne by his children and thus they were free to take up political careers.
“When Mukhriz’s name was proposed for certain positions, I had no right to object because of my own personal interests,” he said, adding that he was aware that he would come under criticism when Mukhriz was proposed for the DPM II post.
On Saturday, Dr Mahathir, who was also prime minister for the second time from May 2018 to February this year, had announced that Pakatan Harapan (PH) partners Amanah and DAP were in favour of Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to be the opposition alliance’s choice for prime minister (PM), PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) I and Mukhriz (former Bersatu deputy president) as DPM II if they were to wrest Putrajaya from Perikatan Nasional (PN).
Dr Mahathir said he supported the move.
Following the development, Mohamad Sabu and Guan Eng, in their joint statement, had said that the proposals would have to be endorsed by the top leadership of their respective parties before being brought to the PH Presidential Council for a decision while earlier today, Shafie Apdal, who is also Sabah Chief Minister, told reporters in Penampang that he would have to consider the matter carefully and would be announcing his answer very soon.
Yesterday, PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail had said the PH component was open to any suggestions on the PM candidate for the opposition but the matter would have to be finalised by the PH presidential council.
PN is made up of Bersatu, of which Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is the acting chairman and president, Umno-led Barisan Nasional, PAS, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and other smaller parties. – Bernama