Returning to serve Malaysia as the prime minister for the second time, Tun Dr. Mahathir is now in a pursuit of time.
During an interview with The Financial Times, he expressed his hope of doing as much as possible in his remaining years.
“Soon, I’ll be turning 93… I will try to achieve as much as possible with the little amount of time given to me.”
The first time he became prime minister was from 1981 to 2003.
In 2016, he returned to the political scene from retirement at the age of 91 to lead Pakatan Harapan to overthrow the party which he had once led in the past in the recent 14th General Election (GE14).
GE14 was the first time in history BN lost after 61 years of ruling.
Aside from concerns related to health and age, Tun Dr. Mahathir has also pledged to hand over the Prime Minister’s position to PKR chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in ‘two or three years’.
In 1998, Anwar, who succeeded Mahathir was sacked and later imprisoned over the charges of alleged sodomy.
Tun Dr. Mahathir reiterated in the interview that his commitment to hand over power to Anwar but this time he said the former deputy had to be patient.
“I think he’s no longer the same man now… He knows things will not be moving as easy as you want.
“So he needs more patience.”
Once acquitted and given a pardon on May 16, Anwar has insisted he supported Mahathir’s administration and was in no hurry to join the government, and would spend some time with his family and lecture at universities overseas.
Source: Al Jazeera
In the meantime, Mahathir believes the decision of Malaysians on May 9 will inspire Singaporeans who are also under the same party rule since independence.
“I think the same as Malaysians, Singaporeans are also tired of the government and the same party since independence.”
The People’s Action Party (PAP) has governed the country for 59 years, since its first general election in 1959.
In the interview, The Financial Times said that Mahathir had been keen to give a sharp criticism to the neighboring country.
During his 22 years of serving as the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia, the relationship between Malaysia and Singapore – and Mahathir with Lee Kuan Yew – is not always calm.
In an interview before GE14, he denied being hostile to Singapore but said he and late Singapore’s first prime minister shared similar approaches – which always insisted on defending the interests of their respective countries.
(Source: Langit Biru)