“I felt that as I had the support of both sides, the time for me to step down had not come,” he said in explaining why he had asked for more time.

Dr Mahathir said he also felt that he apparently had the support of all quarters, leaving him with little choice as to whom to pick.

At the same time, there were also allegations that he had no intention to step down as the prime minister because he was power-crazy, he said.

“So, 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. 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 in his six-minute address from his office in Putrajaya.