FORMER prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he does not have to follow what prominent economist Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram said about becoming an elder statesperson and stepping away from politics.
“That is Jomo’s opinion. I do not have to follow what he says,” the 98-year-old politician declared at a press conference in Putrajaya earlier today (March 28).
In an online forum last night, the Khazanah Research Institute senior adviser said he once met with Dr Mahathir about seven months ago and had advised the former Pejuang chairman to take on the role of an elder statesperson rather than continuing to be involved in Malaysian politics.
“Of course, as usual, he rejected my advice and we know the consequences thereof,” Jomo said in the online forum titled “Malaysia’s future in a fractured world” organised by the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Malaysia.
In his press conference today, Dr Mahathir stressed that he would continue to be involved in politics for the sake of the country.
“For the sake of the country, if someone comes to ask for help, we have to help. It can’t be said that I say I cannot help because I want to rest. If someone asks for my opinion, I am ready to give it,” he remarked.
Dr Mahathir suffered a crushing defeat in the 15th general election (GE15) when he lost the Langkawi parliamentary seat in a five-cornered fight.
Earlier this month, he officially left Pejuang to join Putra as an advisor. The party is led by long-time ally Datuk Ibrahim Ali.
On March 19, the 98-year-old politician also accused the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim-led unity government of being a “dictatorship” after the cancellation of the “Malay Proclamation” rally. – March 28, 2023
Main pic credit: Utusan Malaysia