Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that he is open to becoming the nation's prime minister for the third time, only if "the people ask for it".
This was in response to a question posed to the 97-year-old at a Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) forum held on Sep. 24, 2022.Gerakan Tanah Air is a coalition consisting of four parties: Pejuang, Parti Perikatan India Muslim Nasional (Iman), Parti Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) and Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra).
Mahathir, who is the chairman of GTA, said that he would prefer if he could rest.
"Even as I am resting, I can play the role of a consultant or advisor [to the prime minister]... That I can do," he said.
Will accept if there's an insistence for it
However, he added that it would be "difficult" to just think about himself if the situation calls for it.
"If there's an insistence for it, I will have to accept it [...] But only if the people ask for it. I didn't set up Pejuang and GTA to become the prime minister, that's not my intention."
He said that he wouldn't be able to do the full term of five years, though.
The Langkawi MP said that perhaps, he could only do it for a year.
Two-time prime minister
Mahathir is the only person to have been appointed as prime minister twice in Malaysia, the MalayMail reported.
His first stint, when he was the leader of the then-ruling coalition Barisan Nasional, spanned 22 years.
Meanwhile, his second stint, when he was chairman of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, lasted less than two years when he announced his resignation in 2020.
Top image screenshot from Sinar Harian's Facebook page.