KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will sit out the upcoming state elections, saying that he is “too old” and “senile” to be contesting as a candidate.
“I’m quite old, I’m already senile,” said Dr Mahathir sarcastically during a press conference in Cheras here on Tuesday (June 6), which drew laughter from the crowd.
“I don’t understand. People overseas invited me to speak about what’s next for the world. Japan and South Korea invited me. But, when I’m back here, people ask when am I retiring,” added Dr Mahathir.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said he is set to meet Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on cooperation.
“He (Muhyiddin) supported the Malay Proclamation and we did not go against each other. These are all public knowledge,” added the former premier.
Asked if the cooperation with Perikatan would be permanent or just for the upcoming state elections, Dr Mahathir said this will be discussed during the meeting with Muhyiddin.
“We will discuss. Maybe, we will contest in the state polls if that’s the wishes of the public,” added Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir was speaking to the press after a closed-door meeting on the roundtable negotiations of the Malay Proclamation, which was attended by several top leaders, such as PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang, Tan Sri Annuar Musa and Tan Sri Noh Omar.
Also present were Putra president Datuk Ibrahim Ali, PAS secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, Pejuang president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, and former Parti Bangsa Malaysia president designate Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir said that all leaders present during the meeting agreed to address issues faced by the Malays.
“This is not to deny the rights of the non-Malays,” added Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir spoke about the oppression faced by Malaysians during the British colonial era, adding that prosperity was enjoyed by all races after the government was replaced by one that was dominated by the Malay community.
“Don’t assume that our movement is anti-non-Malays. We are not against non-Malays; anything we do in future, we take into consideration the rights of others.
Dr Mahathir said it was important for the Malays to unite regardless of the state elections, as disunity will only make the Malays weak.
The upcoming six state elections in Kedah, Penang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu and Kelantan are expected to be held next month or in August.
The Malay Proclamation campaign by Dr Mahathir was to unite Malays and it lists 12 key issues faced by the community.
Among the top leaders who signed the Malay Proclamation were Abdul Hadi, Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu and Bersatu information chief Datuk Razali Idris.