PETALING JAYA - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the proposal to place his son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, as Deputy Prime Minister (II) did not come from him.
Instead, the former prime minister said Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng in their June 22 statement named Mukhriz to the position.
Dr Mahathir said he knew he would be criticised when Mukhriz was proposed for the position.
“I was in a conflicted position. When I was prime minister for the first time, I banned my son from politics, especially as a member of the governing party.
“I do not want to be accused of practising nepotism, giving my family privileges,” he said in his blog yesterday.
He said when he was no longer the prime minister, the responsibility of guarding his name no longer had to be shouldered by his children.
“They were free to enter politics. Whether or not they were successful depended on them. When Mukhriz’s name was proposed, I had no right to oppose because of my self-interest,” he said.
On Saturday, Dr Mahathir proposed Parti Warisan Negara chief Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal as the Opposition’s candidate for prime minister, with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as deputy prime minister along with Mukhriz should Pakatan Plus win the next general election.
Pakatan Plus is the moniker for parties from the Opposition coalition and splinter group of Bersatu members supporting Dr Mahathir, and Parti Warisan Sabah.
The proposal was met with cynicism from politicians of both sides of the political divide.