DOHA: TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad, at the 2019 Doha Forum in Qatar today was again asked about his plans to step down and handover the premiership to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He was asked in a question and answer session at the forum if 2020 would be his last year as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Question: One of the questions that's burning right now in the Malaysian media, or is being talked and discussed about a lot is whether 2020 will be the last year for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the prime minister of malaysia. Will it be so?
Dr Mahathir: ....Which part of it?
Question: Will 2020 be the year in which you decide to exit the office of prime minister?
Dr Mahathir then explained about Vision 2020 and how certain circumstances led to Malaysia's inability to achieve the vision of being a fully developed nation by next year.
"So what we have settled for is that we will still try but we have moved the accomplishment date from 2020 to between 2025 and 2030. There is a new approach to solving our economic problem and this time around we want everybody to benefit and not any particular group only," Dr Mahathir said.
Following this, the moderator said, "So if I understand correctly you feel there's a need, the country needs your leadership well beyond 2020?"
"Well I have promised that I would step down once I have resolved some of the major problem that has been left by the previous government. Uhh I promised that I will step down and give uhh the leadership to uhh well a candidate that has been named..named by the coalition (sic)," Dr Mahathir answered.
Later on in the question and answer session, Dr Mahathir was asked about Anwar taking over.
Question: Do you think the leader of the ruling coalition Anwar Ibrahim is the best person to take over at some point. Would you endorse him?
Dr Mahathir: Well I cannot guarantee what, who wou..would be the best person to take over because i've had bad experience. Uhh I have named my successors and when they took over they do different things (sic).
The prime minister was then asked if he had any regrets about what transpired following his past relationship with Anwar.
"Before of course we were antagonistic towards each other but we realised that the country's needs is more important than our personal feelings. So we decided to forget the past and concentrate on developing the country. That is more important than our quarrels," he replied.