FORMER prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied nominating his son Mukhriz Mahathir as deputy prime minister 2 (DPM2), instead pointing to Amanah and DAP leaders Mohamad Sabu and Lim Guan Eng.
“I am aware I will be criticised when naming my son Mukhriz as the DPM2,” said Mahathir on his blog, adding that the nomination of Mukhriz had already been mentioned by Mohamad Sabu and Lim in a June 22 joint statement.
But that statement pointed to Mukhriz as deputy prime minister with PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister. This was the first option with Mahathir-Anwar as the second. This was the meeting where Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders told Anwar he could wait another six months to assume the prime minister post.
“I feel guilty. When I first became prime minister I had forbidden my children from engaging in politics, especially as a member of the ruling party. I did not want to be accused of nepotism, or of giving special privileges to my family,” Mahathir said.
He was referring to his first stint as prime minister (1981-2003) where he was also president of Umno and Barisan Nasional.
Mahathir on Saturday announced that Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal had been nominated as the opposition’s choice for prime minister, with Anwar and Mukhriz as first and second deputy prime minister.
This was done at an informal meeting between the statesman and leaders from DAP and Amanah.
Mahathir also said that the responsibility of maintaining his reputation, now that he is no longer prime minister, should not be carried by his children.
“They are free to engage in politics. Whether they succeed or not depends on them,” he said.
He also felt he had no right to oppose Mukhriz’s nomination to certain positions, due to his own personal interests. He noted that whether or not his explanation was accepted was up to each individual.
“Of course, people who are hostile to me will comment cynically. This I accept because it is human nature,” said Mahathir. – June 29, 2020