Tun M Says He Is Not Power Crazy And Will Do What He Thinks Is Best For Malaysia

"Right or wrong, my opinion is that politics and party politics have to be put aside for the time being."

Cover image via Malaysiakini

Interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad addressed the nation in a televised speech today, 26 February.

The nonagenarian first apologised for the current political crisis.

"First, let me apologise to all Malaysians for the country's political turmoil," Dr Mahathir began his address.

"As we all know, I had submitted my resignation letter as the 7th Prime Minister to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Nevertheless, I was later summoned to meet the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and after a more than an hour-long discussion, the King consented to my resignation and later, decreed that I should become the interim prime minister."

Image via Malaysiakini

He then refuted allegations about him being "power crazy"

"So, I resigned as I did not see power and position as being the 'be all and end all' of my mission. To me, power and position are a 'means to an end' or an instrument to achieve an objective, and our objective is certainly the welfare of the country," he added in his televised speech.

Without providing an exact reason for his resignation, Dr Mahathir said that he was put in a position that made it impossible to decide

He said the decision was made in the best interest of the nation.

"I already promised to resign to let the Dewan Rakyat determine my successor. If it is true I have the support, I will return. If not, I will accept whoever is chosen," he said.

"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.

"I ask to be given time. But my party, Bersatu decided to leave Pakatan Harapan. There are also those from other component parties who are set to leave. With this, the Pakatan Harapan government would collapse."

According to him, he cannot accept UMNO joining government

"I can accept UMNO members who leave the party and join other parties, but UMNO as a party would join this unity government. I can't accept this, so I resigned," said Dr Mahathir.

Image via Malaysiakini

Hinting towards a "Unity Government" void of any party lines, the interim Prime Minister said that he wants a Cabinet built of capable individuals who prioritise national interests instead of their parties

"I do not look for something that is liked by many. I will do what I think is best for the country. Whether it is right or wrong, politics and political parties must be set aside for now," he said.

If allowed, I will try to form an administration that does not side with any party. Only national interest is prioritised.

Watch Dr Mahathir's speech here:

Read more about the recent political turmoil here:

You may be interested in: