“I inherited a corrupt government”: Mahathir
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed that he inherited a government riddled with corruption and untrustworthy officials.
“From outside we saw the damage, but we never expected the damage to be so extensive,” he said in an interview with CNN.
“Most of the top echelon in the Government are corrupt,” he said. Dr Mahathir also said that he has to work with people who are suspect.
“It’s a very difficult job, if you don’t work with people you trust, you don’t know whether what you want them to do will be done or not,” he was quoted as saying.
The CNN report also touched on succession plans after Dr Mahathir steps down as premier.
Before the recent general election, the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan had announced that Dr Mahathir would be premier for two years before handing over the reins to former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.
“If the condition for us working together is my serving as prime minister for two years or three years, for me that is not important.
“I will abide by the wishes of the people,” Dr Mahathir said.
Despite the chequered history between the pair, Dr Mahathir told CNN that his personal opinion about Anwar did not matter.
“I have to trust him – whether I like it or not. I can’t be here all the time,” he said, adding that if people wanted him to serve beyond the time agreed with his coalition partners, he would.
In 1998, Dr Mahathir sacked Anwar from the Cabinet over sodomy charges which eventually landed him in jail.