Malaysia PM will not serve more than 3 years – says he “underestimated” the challenges

Malaysia Pm Will Not Serve More Than 3 Years – Says He “underestimated” The Challenges

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who will count 94 years of age on July 10, said that he will step down within three years of his term of office and hand over the reins to Anwar Ibrahim — his protege-turned-rival before the two reconciled again to win last year’s general elections.

“As far as I’m concerned, I have made a promise that I will step down and that Anwar will succeed me,” Mahathir said at the sidelines of a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok on June 22.

Mahathir had earlier said that his government needs three years to reduce Malaysia’s debt from 80 per cent of GDP to 54 per cent. When asked whether he would stay in office to see out that goal, Mahathir said: “No, I will not go beyond three years.”

Instead, he said his priority was to enable Malaysia to “resolve this [debt] problem” even after he steps down.

However, Mahathir’s refusal to commit to a clear timeline on when he will hand over power raised concerns about the stability of the Malaysian government, especially since the popularity of the ruling coalition has plunged.

Mahathir also told Bloomberg TV in an interview at the ASEAN summit that he “underestimated the challenges” of governing Malaysia before his shock election victory last year.

“I underestimated because we were on the outside and we didn’t get any information on what was happening on the inside,” he said, adding that “we are having a very tough time dealing with damages in the finances as well as the crimes that were committed.”

The main challenges he noted were – apart from dealing with the fallout and recovering embezzled money from scandal-ridden state investment fund 1MDB – slower economic growth, a number of troubled state institutions and companies, including loss-making Malaysia Airlines, as well as disagreement with China over multi-billion infrastructure projects.

Asked about his succession, he told Bloomberg TV that he has no set date for stepping down but will hand over to Anwar in “a year or so.”

“I don’t know. I want to work for the country. I don’t have much of a future so the last thing I want to do is to go away leaving the country in shambles, like the previous [government],” Mahathir said.

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who will count 94 years of age on July 10, said that he will step down within three years of his term of office and hand over the reins to Anwar Ibrahim — his protege-turned-rival before the two reconciled again to win last year’s general elections. “As far as I’m concerned, I have made a promise that I will step down and that Anwar will succeed me,” Mahathir said at the sidelines of a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok on June 22. Mahathir had earlier said that his government...

Malaysia Pm Will Not Serve More Than 3 Years – Says He “underestimated” The Challenges

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who will count 94 years of age on July 10, said that he will step down within three years of his term of office and hand over the reins to Anwar Ibrahim — his protege-turned-rival before the two reconciled again to win last year’s general elections.

“As far as I’m concerned, I have made a promise that I will step down and that Anwar will succeed me,” Mahathir said at the sidelines of a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok on June 22.

Mahathir had earlier said that his government needs three years to reduce Malaysia’s debt from 80 per cent of GDP to 54 per cent. When asked whether he would stay in office to see out that goal, Mahathir said: “No, I will not go beyond three years.”

Instead, he said his priority was to enable Malaysia to “resolve this [debt] problem” even after he steps down.

However, Mahathir’s refusal to commit to a clear timeline on when he will hand over power raised concerns about the stability of the Malaysian government, especially since the popularity of the ruling coalition has plunged.

Mahathir also told Bloomberg TV in an interview at the ASEAN summit that he “underestimated the challenges” of governing Malaysia before his shock election victory last year.

“I underestimated because we were on the outside and we didn’t get any information on what was happening on the inside,” he said, adding that “we are having a very tough time dealing with damages in the finances as well as the crimes that were committed.”

The main challenges he noted were – apart from dealing with the fallout and recovering embezzled money from scandal-ridden state investment fund 1MDB – slower economic growth, a number of troubled state institutions and companies, including loss-making Malaysia Airlines, as well as disagreement with China over multi-billion infrastructure projects.

Asked about his succession, he told Bloomberg TV that he has no set date for stepping down but will hand over to Anwar in “a year or so.”

“I don’t know. I want to work for the country. I don’t have much of a future so the last thing I want to do is to go away leaving the country in shambles, like the previous [government],” Mahathir said.

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