Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he left because he is embarrassed to be associated with Umno.
PUTRAJAYA: Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied allegations he left Umno out of frustration because his son Mukhriz was ousted as Kedah Menteri Besar.
Speaking at a press conference in his office at Perdana Leadership Foundation here today, Mahathir said he had dedicated himself to Umno even when he was expelled by the nation’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.
However he said the deep sense of embarrassment he now felt about the party had led him to quit Umno.
“Some people say I’m disappointed that my son (Mukhriz) is not the prime minister. If I wanted my son to be prime minister, I could have promoted him during the time I was in charge, but you know very well that he could only go into politics after I left.
“I don’t practice nepotism. In fact, my relatives feel that I am too strict about this. At least one of them is not on talking terms with me because I refused to help him in this regard,” said Mahathir.
When asked if he plans to form a new political party, the nation’s longest serving premier replied with a brief and resounding, “No.”
He also refused to take responsibility for allegedly laying the foundation for what many have said, made room for Prime Minister Najib Razak to abuse his power as leader of the country.
“Tell me what I did,” Mahathir said, denying claims that he had among others, undermined the judiciary.
“During my time, the judiciary even ruled that Umno was illegal, but this would not be possible today as Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali would not have allowed the case to even go to court.”