Accused of propping up his son, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today the idea to propose Mukhriz as deputy prime minister for the “Pakatan Plus” alliance did not come from him.
In his latest blog post, the former prime minister said Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng proposed Mukhriz as DPM II in a June 22 statement.
Amanah and DAP are Dr Mahathir’s allies in the Pakatan Plus pact which also includes Warisan and PKR.
“When Mukhriz’s name is proposed for certain posts, I do not have the right to oppose based on my personal interests,” Dr Mahathir said in his blog.
Dr Mahathir also said he has no right to object Mukhriz’s name for his own personal interest when the latter was recommended for certain positions.
“I am filled with dilemma. I had forbidden my son to involve himself in politics, particularly as a member of the ruling party, when I was prime minister for the first time. I do not want to be accused of practising nepotism and giving preferential treatment to my family.
“But when I was no longer the prime minister, the responsibility of upholding my name should not be shouldered by my children. They are free to be involved in politics. Whether they are successful or not politically, it depends on themselves,” he said.
He had earlier acknowledged criticism levelled against him when he named Mukhriz as DPM II.
“Whether my explanation is believable or not, it is up to everyone. Of course, those that antagonise with me will be disagreeable. This I accept because it is after all human nature,” he said.
On June 27, Dr Mahathir confirmed endorsing Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate.
He also said that the next PH Plus government would have two deputy prime ministers and nominated PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as candidate for DPM I and Mukhriz as candidate for DPM II.