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Dr M: I'm in a hurry because I don't have much time left

The Star Online logo The Star Online 30/3/2019
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PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is in a hurry to get things done as fast as possible as he realises that he does not have much more time to live.

"I am lucky I survived this long. Actually, I should not be around to watch what happened with my predecessors (former prime ministers Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) but I am lucky in the sense that I am not only older, but still able to function.

"But I realise that I am very old, and very soon I will weaken and I will die. So, I am always in a hurry. Other people seem to take things easy, but I am in a hurry because I realise I don’t have much time to do the things that I feel need to be done in this country," he told Focus Malaysia in an interview.

Dr Mahathir also said he would do his best as long as he was still prime minister of the country.

However, he said if he was asked to leave then he will leave, but there has not been a specific date given to him to vacate his post.

"I was only told that I am the choice for prime ministership from the opposition coalition, but they didn’t specifically say when.

"They have said that I am the interim and that somebody will take over. I suppose that may be long before the next election," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir pointed out that dealing with an inexperienced Cabinet "is a major problem".

"We have inexperienced people in the government now. I think anyone who is inexperienced will have experienced the same problems that they (new ministers) have," he said.

Dr Mahathir said if he merely replaced them then it was "not going to help".

He said he has to try and work with them so that they would acquire the experience needed.

"But, of course, people have this impression that they are no good, that they are new.

"Well, new people, of course, will have problems but I think for opposition politicians to become the government, the change in their attitudes is very difficult to achieve as they feel they must criticise, because that is the opposition’s job.

"But now they find they are being criticised and they have to take it. They have to accept it," he said.

Dr Mahathir added that the conditions for governing the country today cannot be compared to the time in 1981 when he was prime minister.

He said previously if he wanted to do something it was easy as there was "money and capacity".

However, he now likened the situation to when he wanted to build a highway but was unable to do so.

He said he was now told by the Finance Minister that there was "no money", adding that he used to have a big say in government but was now more careful about "what the four parties were thinking".

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