PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the suggestion for Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir to be made the candidate for the deputy prime minister (II) post did not come from him.
The ex-prime minister said the nomination for his son for the position had already been mentioned earlier in a statement together with Amanah president Mohamad bin Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng on June 22.
Dr Mahathir added that he knew he would be criticised for it.
“I was in a conflicted position. When I was prime minister for the first time, I first banned my son from participating in politics, especially as a member of the governing party.
"I do not want to be accused of practicing nepotism, giving my family privileges, ” he said in a post on his blog on Monday (June 29).
He said when he was no longer the prime minister, the responsibility of guarding his name no longer had to be shouldered by his children.
“They were free to enter politics. Whether or not they were successful depended on themselves. When Mukhriz’s name was proposed for certain positions, I had no right to oppose because of my self-interests, ” he said.
On Saturday (June 27), Dr Mahathir had proposed that PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim be deputy prime minister alongside Mukhriz should Pakatan Plus win the next general election.
He also proposed that Parti Warisan Negara chief Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Sabah's chief minister, be made the Opposition’s candidate for prime minister.
The proposal was met with cynicism by politicians of both sides of the political divide, with some saying that Dr Mahathir’s ultimate aim was to ensure his son had a chance at becoming prime minister.
“Whether my explanation is believed or otherwise, it depends on each individual.
"Of course those who are enemies with me will be cynical. I accept this because this is human nature, ” added Dr Mahathir.
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