KUALA LUMPUR - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has stepped down as Petronas adviser effective Sunday.
The former prime minister said he made the decision following his doctor's advice for him to "slow down".
However, Dr Mahathir said he would remain as an adviser to the national car maker Proton Berhad.
Asked on his view of Petronas' performance, he said: "Petronas has been developing well as the company is making profits, part of which is being channelled to the Government."
On the proposed talks between Umno and PAS, Dr Mahathir said there was no reason why the two parties should not be able to sit down and talk.
"PAS was a part of Barisan Nasional in the past, and the people who founded the party were former Umno members.
"So, the two parties are not too different from each other although they have different opinions on some issues," he told a press conference Monday.
Earlier in the day, Dr Mahathir had delivered a luncheon talk at an international forum held ahead of the Umno general assembly, which starts today.
Talk on a proposed muzakarah between Umno and PAS gained credence following a meeting last week between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob in Putrajaya.
In his speech at the luncheon talk earlier, Dr Mahathir expressed sadness over the state of affairs in some countries where killings occurred due to political, religious or ethnic conflicts.
He said in any democracy, making choices was not easy because some political parties could not accept defeat during elections.
"If we truly believe in democracy, we have to accept the choice of the people even if they do not choose us.
"We must accept their rule or misrule until the next election, by which time, they would have hopefully been exposed to the shortcomings of those they elected," he added.
He said that if people took to the streets to protest against the results of an election in order to overthrow the government, it would only lead to chaos and instability.
"Democracy also means willingness to accept defeat," he said, adding that while democracy may not be perfect, it was the best system although it required patience and tolerance.