Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday clarified that International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was not part of his future prime minister candidates’ list.
Although several news reports had quoted him as saying so during an interview with comedian Harith Iskander in an interview on Wednesday night, Dr Mahathir explained that what he actually said was different.
“I did not want to name names last night but when pressed (by Harith), I only said that some people have suggested Azmin’s name simply because he was close to me before.
“Let me clarify, he is not my candidate (for prime minister).
“After that, he (Harith) again asked (for other names). I felt uneasy and so I was forced to say that one of the names mentioned to me was (Datuk Seri) Mukhriz (Mahathir),” he said.
Dr Mahathir, who is former prime minister, was speaking at a press conference with Parti Pejuang Tanahair leadership via Zoom yesterday.
Despite mentioning his son’s name, Dr Mahathir said he would not give Mukhriz any endorsement, adding that “they have to fight their own struggles.”
“They are not going to be prime minister because I mentioned their names. I have no (prime minister) candidates to put forth,” he said.
After several reports quoted him naming Mukhriz and Azmin as potential future prime minister, social media users began criticising the Langkawi member of parliament.
During the interview with Harith, in response to a question by the host on who he has in mind to take over the helm from Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Dr Mahathir at first refused to answer.
After being pressed several times, Dr Mahathir said he has three to four names in mind but preferred not to reveal them.
When asked again, he said “some people thought I am friendly with Azmin” and “some people named Mukhriz”. – NST