Mahathir Mohamad won’t contest in state elections, cites age and senility

Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former Malaysian prime minister, stated that he will not participate in the upcoming state elections, citing his age and the effects of senility. The 97-year-old made the announcement during a press conference following a meeting on the Malay Proclamation, a document he authored that aims to protect the interests of the Malay community and restore their political power.

The state elections are set to take place in six Malaysian states, including Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Selangor, and Terengganu, with an expected date in August. Dr Mahathir also mentioned his plans to meet with Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin to discuss potential cooperation.

“No, I’m already old … (and) senile,” said Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir expressed confusion over the discrepancy between his international and local reception, stating that he was invited to speak in Japan and South Korea, while in Malaysia, people questioned when he would retire.

Regarding the cooperation with PN, Dr Mahathir said that whether it would be permanent or only for the state elections would be discussed during his meeting with Muhyiddin. “We will discuss. There is a possibility that we will compete in the state polls if we find that it is the wishes of the public,” he said.

According to The Star, Dr Mahathir claimed that all leaders present during the meeting agreed to address issues faced by the Malays. Among the attendees were Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) president Abdul Hadi Awang, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan, and Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) president Mukhriz Mahathir, Dr Mahathir’s son.

“This is not to deny the rights of the non-Malays,” he said. “Don’t assume that our movement is anti-non-Malays. We are not against non-Malays; anything we do in future, we take into consideration the rights of others.”

Dr Mahathir emphasised the importance of unity among Malays in the country, regardless of the state elections, as disunity would only weaken them. He also noted that parties that signed the Malay Proclamation agreed not to compete with each other during the elections and were considering contesting together.

“All of us agreed on the need to move forward together. This includes during elections because we cannot do much if we do not hold (political) power,” he reportedly said.

Last week, Dr Mahathir announced his willingness to work with Muhyiddin if they could reach a consensus on mutual goals, such as championing the Malay cause and rejecting those involved in corruption or criminal misconduct.

“We have split into many parties and we have lost power. When we lose power, we cannot correct the circumstances which are detrimental to the Malays … This is why we need to unite,” he told Malaysia Now.

In the 15th General Election last year, Dr Mahathir, leading the Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition, failed to defend his Langkawi seat, marking his first electoral defeat in 53 years. He lost his deposit after finishing fourth in a five-cornered fight, which was won by PN’s Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah.

World News


Sara is a journalist and content writer who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Sara's journey in journalism began as a copywriter, and over time, her portfolio expanded to include articles and features for some of the nation's top lifestyle publications. Outside the office, she enjoys practising yoga and exploring hidden locations in Bangkok.

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