KUALA LUMPUR - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he lobbied for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to become prime minister because of his gratitude to the latter's father Tun Abdul Razak.
The former prime minister of 22 years however said that he now regrets supporting Najib who has been unable to explain numerous issues including the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy.
Dr Mahathir said he regarded Tun Abdul Razak as his mentor and idol but he could not overlook Najib's mistakes.
He said that Tun Razak, Malaysia's second prime minister, brought him into the cabinet in 1974.
"Then I became deputy prime minister and prime minister. I am grateful to him" said Dr Mahathir at a public forum at the K-Klub in Taman Melawati on Saturday.
Dr Mahathir said he had strived and succeeded to help Najib in gratitude to Tun Razak but he didn't know what went wrong.
"I wanted to help not victimise Tun Razak's children," he said.
Dr Mahathir said Najib has been unable to explain the billion of ringgit which remained unaccounted for in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
He added that Umno and Barisan would lose the next elections if Najib remained as Prime Minister.
Dr Mahathir said it was still not to late for Barisan as the next general was still two and a half years away.
He vowed to help the coalition regain the people's support if Najib resigned.