Not my decision to name Mukhriz as deputy PM, says Mahathir

Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he is not behind the nomination of his son Mukhriz as deputy prime minister if PH returns to power. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied that he was behind the nomination of his son Mukhriz as deputy prime minister II if Pakatan Harapan returns to Putrajaya.

“I knew I would be criticised when Mukhriz was nominated as deputy prime minister II,” said Mahathir on his website today.

“This proposal didn’t come from me. The appointment was mentioned in a joint statement with Amanah’s (president) Mohamad Sabu and DAP’s (secretary-general) Lim Guan Eng on June 22. ”

Mahathir said he had banned his sons from taking part in politics during his first stint as prime minister as he did not want to be accused of nepotism or of providing his family with special privileges.

However, he allowed his sons to re-enter the political arena when he was no longer prime minister.

“They were free to enter politics. Whether they are successful or not depends on them,” he said.

“When Mukhriz’s name was proposed for certain positions, I had no right to oppose it because of my personal interests.

“Whether this explanation is believed or not, it’s up to everyone to decide. I’m sure there are people who are my enemies who will talk cynically. I accept this because it is human instinct,” he added.

Mahathir had proposed Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal as prime minister if PH was returned to power, with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and Mukhriz as his deputies.

The opposition parties have been unable to settle on their choice of candidate for prime minister, with Mahathir initially wanting to be prime minister for a third time for six months before handing over power to Anwar, a proposal that was rejected by PKR.

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