KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should retire gracefully and allow his son, Datuk Seri Muhkriz to stand on his own feet politically, especially as the ex-Kedah Mentri Besar now claimed to have 80 percent support within Umno, said the Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s aide said, for years Mahathir had tried to push his son to the top of Umno, but would never admit it.
“Firstly, Tun Mahathir made his son stand for Umno vice-president. But he was defeated due to a lack of support by party members, and his father blamed the prime minister.
“Then, Mukhriz stood as Mentri Besar of Kedah, Tun Mahathir’s home state and power base. But he was removed due to a lack of support by party members, and again his father blamed the prime minister,” he said in a statement today.
He said, if Mukhriz had 80 percent support within Umno as he claimed, he would be a vice-president of Umno or Kedah Mentri Besar.
Tengku Sarifuddin said, Mahathir’s attempt to unseat a serving prime minister, was damaging to the national interest and was a step too far for Umno members.
“This is why Tun Mahathir has lost the support of Umno. Which in turn is why he had to leave Umno and solicit Chinese support from the opposition through Lim Kit Siang, a man he previously jailed,” he said.
Tengku Sarifuddin also reiterated that all Mahathir needed to do was to state who were his alternative candidates are as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
“How can a man who wants to dictate and decide everything avoid answering this one critical question? Until he does, Tun Mahathir cannot blame the people for believing that his failed attempt to unseat the prime minister is all about paving the way for his son,” he said.
Tengku Sarifuddin said, the prime minister would continue to focus on the key issues that mattered to Malaysia, especially combating the threat of terrorism and delivering on his economic plan for the people. – Bernama