Third time’s a charm: Tun M says he’s fit and well should he become PM again

TWO-TIME former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that he is healthy enough to work should he need to become prime minister for the third time after the 15th General Election (GE15).

According to the incumbent Langkawi MP, his intention to lead the country will only be determined if his coalition – Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) – wins GE15 and if there is pressure for him to return to Putraajaya.

“So far, I can still function. I can still move about; I can still speak [and] I can still conduct negotiations. Even though I am older, I can still work,” he said at a press conference after a meeting with Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) and GTA leaders in Langkawi today (Oct 18).

“If they want to appoint me as prime minister, I will not say no but as much as possible I will not [want to].”

Meanwhile, the 97-year-old former prime minister also acknowledged rumours that the Langkawi parliament seat would be a “hot” seat with potential candidates including PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s former aide Datuk Ezam Mohd Nor.

“It’s fine if he wants to contest because this is a democratic country that allows anyone to compete. Even if there are 100 candidates contesting for the Langkawi seat, that would be fine as well,” he remarked.

Touching on the recently announced (and cancelled) Budget 2023, Dr Mahathir described it as being a budget to win the people’s votes in the upcoming GE15 as well as a “political budget” as it was tabling right before the dissolution of the Parliament.

“So, what is the purpose of tabling the budget when we know that Parliament might be dissolved? They presented the budget because they wanted to hold an election and wanted to give out goodies to everyone. They wanted to buy votes…that is a vote-buying budget,” he pointed out.

Dr Mahathir went on to note that the dissolution of the Parliament merely three days after the tabling of Budget 2023 meant that members of Parliament (MPs) were not given the opportunity to debate the budget.

Caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the dissolution of Parliament to pave way for GE15 on Oct 10.

According to the Parliament schedule, policy-level debate on Budget 2023 was slated to commence from Oct 11 through 26, followed by ministerial replies (Oct 27 to Nov 2) and the debate at the committee level (Nov 3 to 23).

“After the tabling of a budget, the Opposition will usually get the chance to offer their input. This time around they didn’t even give them a chance to say anything at all,” Dr Mahathir lamented.

“There was no time as Parliament dissolved all of a sudden, and it was said that they will re-table the budget after GE15.” – Oct 18, 2022


Main photo credit: smartinvestor 

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE