"I had promised to step down as the PM to let the Dewan Rakyat determine my successor. If it is true that I was still favoured, I will have returned. If not, I will have accepted whoever is chosen (to be the PM),” he said.
Giving his perspective on the political developments lately, Dr Mahathir said the opportunity existed to change the leadership but he felt that because he had the support of both sides, the time for him to step down had not come.
“I had asked to be given time. But my party, Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia), decided to leave Pakatan Harapan. Some members of other component parties would have left also, causing the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government,” said Dr Mahathir who, on Monday, also resigned as the chairman of Bersatu, one of the four PH component parties.
“The consequence of Bersatu supporting PAS and UMNO would mean that defeated parties will have formed the government. That government will have been dominated by UMNO as the biggest party.
“I am prepared to accept UMNO members who have left the party to join another. But UMNO would have joined this coalition government as a party. I cannot accept that. So, I had to resign,” he said.
MAHATHIR-POLITICS (ADDRESS) 5 KUALA LUMPUR
In helming PH, Dr Mahathir took over the leadership of the nation for the second time when he became the seventh prime minister after PH defeated what he had described as a kleptocratic UMNO-led Barisan Nasional (BN) government in the 14th general election in May 2018.
He made eradication of corruption as the main agenda of the PH administration as he went on to revive the economy and the country’s administration, aiming to restore Malaysia's tarnished image in the eyes of the world.
In today’s address, the 94-year-old leader outlined the reasons why he resigned on Monday.
“I resigned because I do not see power and position as the be-all and end-all as my objective. For me, power and position are a means to an end or a tool to achieve the objective. And, the objective of us all is the well-being of the nation.
“That is why I chose to resign as I could see that for politicians, the most important thing is which party rules, regardless of whether it is a defeated party or not,” he said.
MAHATHIR-POLITICS (ADDRESS) 6 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR
On his efforts to resolve the current political situation, Dr Mahathir said he is aware that many will resist or reject outright what he is doing now but there may be others who will support him.
“I am not seeking popularity. I only want to do something that I think is good for the country,” said the interim prime minister.
Dr Mahathir said that as an ordinary human being, he is not immune to making mistakes.
“I seek forgiveness if I was wrong to have resigned,” he said.
TAGS: Dr Mahathir, address, politics, Bersatu, UMNO, Pakatan Harapan