23 May 2024

NEW YORK (Agencies) – Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia said he expects to stay as leader for three years, just a week after his political heir apparent Anwar Ibrahim hinted that his former boss would step down after two years as he had promised.

“I promise that I would step down before the next election and give way to another candidate,”  Mahathir said during a dialogue at the US Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Thursday (Sept 26), according to Bernama news agency.

“So, I may have at the most three years perhaps,” he added. The next general election is slated in 2023.

Mahathir, who is 94,  said his work was very tough now and that he was currently working 18 hours a day.

Mahathir said after becoming prime minister following a sensational election victory in May, 2018 that he would stay in power for only two years before allowing Anwar to take over.

Anwar told Bloomberg Television last week  that he expected to become prime minister around May 2020.

“There’s an understanding that it should be around that time, but I don’t think I should be too petty about the exact month,” he said in the interview.