Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad breaks silence amid political upheaval
KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 26): The following is Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's live address on Feb 26, reproduced in full.
1. First of all, please allow me to apologise to all Malaysians for the country’s chaotic political situation which could cause unease among you, ladies and gentlemen.
2. As we all know, I had sent my resignation letter as the seventh prime minister to the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
3. However, I was later summoned before Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and after discussing it for over an hour, His Majesty had agreed to accept my resignation letter and decreed that I would be the interim prime minister.
4. There are many reasons why I tendered my resignation. However, suffice to say that I felt that I had support from all sides, to the extent that I was unable to choose a side.
5. Besides that, there were also accusations that I did not intend to relinquish my position and I am power hungry.
6. Therefore, I resigned because I do not see power and position as the “be all and end all” to my goals. For me, power and position are “a means to an end” or a tool to achieve an objective. And our objective is definitely the good of the country.
7. That is why I resigned, because I saw that what mattered most for the politicians, both the winners or losers, was which party ruled.
8. Actually I had promised to resign to allow the Dewan Rakyat the opportunity to choose my successor. If it is true that I still have the support, I will return [as Prime Minister]. Otherwise, I will accept whomever is chosen as my successor.
9. So the opportunity to change the leadership is there. Only because I was of the opinion that I was supported by both parties, that I felt it was not yet time to resign.
10. I asked for time. But my party Bersatu decided to leave Pakatan Harapan. There were also members of other component parties who left. With this, the Pakatan Harapan government would fall.
11. Therefore, if Bersatu supported PAS and Umno, the parties who lost would form the government. The government would be dominated by Umno as the largest party.
12. I can accept Umno members who leave the party and join other parties. However, Umno will join this coalition as the Umno party. I cannot accept this. Therefore, I had to resign.
13. As an ordinary human being, I cannot avoid making mistakes. I apologise if my resignation was a mistake.
14. Yang di-Pertuan Agong decreed that I be appointed as the interim prime minister. I realise that what I am doing now will be opposed and rejected by many, but perhaps there are those who may be in support. I am only doing what I deem best for the country.
15. Politics, politicians and political parties focus on politics too much until they forget that the country is facing economic and health problems that threaten the nation.
16. I am of the opinion that right or wrong, politics and party politics need to be set aside for now. If I am allowed to, I would try to set up an administration that does not favour any parties. Only the national interest will be prioritised.
17. If given the opportunity, this is what I will strive to do.
18. I pray and I ask Allah SWT for guidance in this endeavour.