Dr Mahathir Distances Himself From PM Position While Tengku Razaleigh Stands By

The men are the oldest MP and longest-serving MP respectively.

Cover image via New Straits Times & Ahmad Zamzahuri/Malay Mail

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Speaking amidst the recent political developments in the country, whereby UMNO president Zahid Hamidi announced his party's withdrawal of support for prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Mahathir is purportedly not impressed

Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has indicated he is not seeking to become prime minister for a third time, according to Astro Awani.

Mahathir stresses that his party, which had been officially registered by the Registrar of Societies yesterday after a protracted legal battle, has no interest in playing politics at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging.

"Our main priority now is to get the pandemic under control," said the Langkawi member of Parliament (MP) during a virtual press conference held yesterday. "So whether he (Muhyiddin) steps down or doesn't, or anything happens to him, that is due to the confusion we are now facing politically," he says, referencing the UMNO president's announcement.

"Everyone wants to become prime minister, (but) all they think about is how much money can they get," Mahathir – who turns 96 tomorrow – says. "They are not interested in serving the people or solving their problems."

Former two-time PM Mahathir says that pandemic management should be everyone's priority.

Image via Yusof Mat Isa/Malay Mail

He says that Malaysia is now one of the worst countries at dealing with the pandemic, and his party proposes the formation of a bipartisan national recovery council

"Now is not the time for politics, now is the time to face the people's struggles," he said, adding, "If we don't do something (about it), then the cases will only get higher."

He says that there is a possibility that Malaysia will breach a number as high as 12,000 daily cases soon, alleging that the country is now one of the worst countries dealing with the outbreak because of the government's inefficiency.

It was revealed in a separate Malay Mail report that his party's plan is to instead propose for the formation of a national recovery council, comprising experts in a wide range of fields, at the upcoming parliamentary session.

Mahathir however denies that he seeks to lead this proposed council, instead saying that "qualified people" and "people with experience" will be considered.

Malaysia recorded an astonishing 8,868 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, its second highest on record.

Image via AFP/New Straits Times

Perhaps coincidentally, longest serving MP Tengku Razaleigh has offered himself for the prime minister post

Tengku Razaleigh has served as an MP consecutively since 1974.

Image via Bernama/New Straits Times

According to Sinar Harian, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah – the longest serving MP in parliament – says he will not reject the job on an interim basis should he be given majority support.

Ku Li, as he is affectionately known, states that anyone including himself would take up the job as PM for the sake of the people's welfare, should the country be faced with another political crisis of confidence.

"If you hear about the reports in the media (about the pandemic), one would be frightened to give it a go. But to whomever the responsibility falls, they must carry that burden for the sake of the people and the country," the Gua Musang MP pleads.

Mahathir and Ku Li have joined forces before, appearing in a surprise joint press conference last December to object the government's 2021 budget.

Image via Hari Anggara/Malay Mail

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