Prime Minister of Malaysia implies that he may remain in office after 2020

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad indicated on Saturday that he might seek to remain in his post after 2020, just four days after pledging to cede power to his expected successor Anwar Ibrahim.

In response to a question during the Doha Forum in Qatar, whether he will step down next year, Mahathir said he wanted to solve the problems created by the previous government before resigning.

“I pledge to resign once the great problems left by the previous government are resolved,” he added. I pledge to step down and hand over the leadership to a candidate chosen by the coalition.”

Mahathir, 94, did not say when he intended to leave office.

Mahathir had pledged on December 10 to hand power to Anwar despite new accusations of sexual assault, and indicated he might hand over power after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit hosted by Malaysia in November 2020.

In response to a question about whether Anwar is the best person to succeed him as prime minister and if he recommends it, Mahathir said he could not guarantee who would be the best choice given previous bad experiences.

“I chose successors for me, then they took power and did different things.”

Mahathir was unexpectedly elected in 2018 as head of a coalition government led by Anwar, 72, its largest party.

Anwar was previously imprisoned twice on charges of sodomy and corruption, which he said were politically motivated.

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