PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he “may be forced to consider” becoming prime minister again if such a plan is proposed by his friends in the Opposition.
In a live question-and-answer session hosted on his official Facebook page, the former prime minister answered five questions, two of which related to a possible return to premiership.
Titled #HangTanyaCheDetJawab (You Ask, Che Det Answers), Dr Mahathir was asked if he would agree to taking on the role of prime minister if asked by the rakyat themselves.
“I cannot ignore my friends in Pakatan Harapan. If they have such a suggestion and it is agreed upon, then I might be forced to consider. At this time, I don’t agree to be prime minister….at this time,” he said in the interview, which garnered over 50,000 views.
Dr Mahathir also reminded viewers that he had said he would not become prime minister again once he had retired in 2003.
Asked about the role he would take on instead, the 91-year-old said upon retiring, he thought his opinion would at least be sought by the ruling party on certain matters or problems.
This is because he had “lots of experience and knowledge that might be useful”, having served as prime minister for 22 years.
Dr Mahathir also professed himself “ready to take part in discussions to find solutions for problems faced”, if given the chance to offer his opinion after the 14th general election.
Asked what he would do to help the rakyat and the country’s economy if he was “fated to be Prime Minister again”, Dr Mahathir said he had a certain approach to handling problems during his premiership.
“I would usually form an expert committee, to look for information every day, to understand what was happening.
“Everyone was free to suggest ways to overcome the problem. That was what I did during the currency crisis (1997 to 1998),” he added.
This method, he said, which involved the experts and ministers led to the voicing of many suggestions for consideration.
“That was why I eventually agreed with the currency control method to handle the problem of the falling ringgit at the time. It emerged from discussion. We deeply considered other methods, but we had to reject them as it was not practical,” he said. – Star