KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 — Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir is focused on his work in one of Malaysia’s poorest states and is in no hurry to join his father’s Cabinet.
The son of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told South China Morning Post in an interview published today that he hopes the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership will leave him alone even as political observers predict his rapid rise due to his political pedigree.
“People have been asking me whether I may be moving to the federal government,” Mukhriz was quoted as saying in response to speculation that he may be appointed to the Cabinet.
“And I keep telling all the bosses [in the ruling coalition], please give me some time to finish what I start.”
Apparently, one of his regrets was not completing his term as Kedah mentri besar when the Barisan Nasional was in power.
Back in the saddle after PH’s victory in Election 2018, Mukhriz told the Hong Kong daily that he now has “tonnes” of things to do for the state nicknamed the rice bowl of Malaysia.
“You have to remember that the last time I was here, I did not finish my term. I did barely three years. I did not have time to even leave a legacy, if you want to call it that,” he was quoted as saying.
Mukhriz said he has a lot of ideas and is “desperately” trying to make sure they move in the right direction for continuity instead of being content with breaking ground.
At the same time, he does not see his political career as a race.
“I am easy. I am in no rush. It’s not as if I have ambitions of you know, ‘Oh, I have to be a minister at this point, and I want this ministry and not that’.”
He also said that the PH coalition received a lot of goodwill in a short span of time and they would be making a big blunder if they take the goodwill for granted.
Dr Mahathir yesterday reiterated that there will not be any new ministerial appointments as long as he is prime minister, despite public criticisms against some members of his Cabinet, many who are greenhorns in ruling.
The 94-year-old is regularly asked about changes to his Cabinet but has not said if there might be a shuffle among the ministers and their portfolios.