Mahathir wants non-partisan government if picked as PM

Updated: Feb 27, 2020, 10:38 IST | Agencies | Kuala Lumpur

He made no mention of Anwar in his televised speech, but reiterated that the lower house of Parliament should be the one to pick the prime minister

Mahathir Mohamad
Mahathir Mohamad

Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday said he will form a new non-partisan government if elected to return as Malaysia's prime minister, as the king completed two days of consultations with lawmakers to resolve a political vacuum caused by the abrupt collapse of Mahathir's ruling coalition.

Breaking his silence two days after his shocking resignation, Mahathir confirmed that his Bersatu party ditched the alliance Monday in a bid to form a new government with the United Malays National Organisation or UMNO, the party of disgraced ex-leader Najib Razak, who is on trial for corruption, and a fundamentalist Islamic party.

The move had thwarted a pre-election agreement by Mahathir to hand over power to his named successor, Anwar Ibrahim. Mahathir said he had quit to show he wasn't power crazy and because he cannot work with the corrupt-tainted UMNO, which he had ousted in 2018 elections. He made no mention of Anwar in his televised speech, but reiterated that the lower house of Parliament should be the one to pick the prime minister.

"If I really still have support, I will return. If not, I will accept whoever's chosen," said Mahathir, the world's oldest leader at 94. Anwar's camp, as well as UMNO and the Islamic party, have rejected Mahathir's proposed non-partisan government. "I am not aiming to be popular," Mahathir said. "I just want to do what is best for the country... I believe, rightly or wrongly, politics and political parties must be set aside for now. If allowed, I will form an administration that does not side with any party. Only national interest will be prioritised."

Catch up on all the latest Crime, National, International and Hatke news here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.com

Subscribe
This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK