Mukhriz says not targeting PM post, but ready for bigger role

Ida Lim
(From left) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir attend a press conference after the PPBM Supreme Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur January 29, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir has said he has not fixed a goal of one day assuming the prime minister post that his father Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad currently holds, but expressed his readiness to take on bigger roles, a report said.

Mukhriz who is currently heading the state administration of Kedah as its mentri besar, reportedly said he is prepared to play a bigger role in the federal government if deemed suitable by Malaysia’s next leader.

“I am open and it really depends on the leadership at that time on where I’m suited best.

“I’m not really ambitious, I don’t set myself a course that I must become a prime minister one day as some other people do,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with business publication Nikkei Asian Review that was published today.

In the same interview, Mukhriz said taking on a federal government position would depend on whether there is such a need.

“As and when it is seen necessary for the country that I would be placed at the federal level, I am willing and able to assume that responsibility,” he said.

Dr Mahathir, the world’s oldest prime minister who turned 94 yesterday, has frequently publicly reaffirmed his promise to eventually hand over the position to his political ally PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

While the plan to have Anwar take over from Dr Mahathir as prime minister in Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) first term of government has been repeatedly mentioned in public, no mention has been made of who might replace Anwar in the future.

Nikkei Asian Review reported Mukhriz as saying that there would be no campaign to promote him as Malaysia’s next prime minister after Anwar’s tenure, but noted that Mukhriz will be open to the idea of taking up the position.

“I won’t on my own work on trying to move up the ladder as if it is given that I must be the prime minister one day,” he was quoted as saying.

Mukhriz is the only one of Dr Mahathir’s children to have ventured into politics.

He is currently the deputy president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), the party where Dr Mahathir is chairman.

He is also vice-president of PH, the ruling coalition of which PKR is a component party.

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