KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has again expressed readiness to be Pakatan Harapan's prime minister, but added a caveat this time that the decision should be unanimous among its member parties.
In an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review, the country's longest-serving prime minister appeared to note Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's insistence the position must not be unilaterally filled, following Dr Mahathir's “offer” last week to take up the post if necessary.
“If there is no candidate ... I might try, only on condition that everybody agrees,” he was quoted as saying.
He added that he possessed “a lot of experience in winning elections,” when justifying his response.
Dr Mahathir last week claimed he did not aspire to return to the post he had held for over two decades, but said he would not discount the possibility if “friends” in the Opposition pact saw fit to ask.
This prompted Anwar to say it was not the former PM's place to unilaterally decide who should be the pact's choice for prime minister.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman’s remark followed his open rejection of Anwar for the position.
Dr Mahathir refused to display placards endorsing Anwar as the “seventh prime minister” during PKR’s annual assembly last month, and later confirmed that he did not support his former deputy for the post.
The incident has triggered further discord within the informal pact comprising DAP, PKR, Amanah and PPBM.