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KUCHING, Feb 26: Interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wishes to establish a non-partisan national government with only interests of the nation taking precedence if permitted.
“This is what I will try to do if given the opportunity. In my opinion, rightly or wrongly, politics and political parties have to be cast aside for now.
“In truth, I had promised to resign to allow the Dewan Rakyat (parliament) to decide who would be my successor. If it is true that I still have support, then I will return. If not, I will accept whoever is chosen.
“So, the opportunity to change the leadership is there. I however feel that since I have the support of both sides, it is not yet time for me to resign,” he said in a special address broadcast nationally today.
Dr Mahathir stated that there was support for him from all sides to the extent that he was unable to choose a side.
Dr Mahathir noted that things took a different turn after his party Bersatu decided to leave Pakatan Harapan (PH) and members from other component parties also set to part, which would cause the PH government to collapse.
“The effect of Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) supporting Umno (United Malays National Organisation) and Pas (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) is that the parties which lost the election would go on to form the government. This government would be dominated by Umno, by virtue of it being the biggest party.
“I can accept Umno members who left the party and joined another party. But Umno would be joining this unity government as Umno itself. This I could not accept. So I had to resign,” he explained.
He said one of the reasons for his resignation was that there were accusations alleging that he had no intention to let go of the position and was power-hungry.
“As such, I resigned because I do not see power and position as the ‘be all and end all’ to my goals. To me, power and position are a means to an end, or a tool to achieve an objective. And this objective is, of course, for the betterment of the country.
“As a result, I resigned because I saw that to politicians, both the victors and the losers, what was most important to them was which party would rule,” he added.
As ordinary human being, Dr Mahathir pointed out that he was not adverse to making mistakes and thus sought forgiveness if his action of resigning was wrong.
“Yang di-Pertuan Agong appointed me as the interim prime minister. I also realised that what I am doing now is being opposed and rejected by many; but maybe some may support.
“I am not looking to become popular. I am just doing something that I think is for the good of the country,” he added.
Dr Mahathir said politicians and political parties of this country have been placing too much emphasis on politics until they forget that the country was facing economic and health issues. — DayakDaily