(The Malaysian Insider) - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has voiced his support for his son Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir to become the next Kedah mentri besar should Barisan Nasional (BN) win back the state in the 13th general election.
The former prime minister’s endorsement of his son will likely add pressure for the state Umno leadership to decide on whether to back Mukhriz as a potential candidate, as support within the party for the deputy international trade and industry minister appears divided at best.
“I would help him but what he does, what position he holds, is up to the party. If he is nominated for mentri besar, I will still support him.
“(The party) normally does not nominate someone for mentri besar; we do not know whether we are going to win so it is usually a nomination of either state or federal seats,” said Dr Mahathir in an interview with online television station The Malaysian Observer (MobTv).
He was asked by interviewer Datuk Jahabardeen Md Yunos to comment on speculation of Mukhriz becoming the next Kedah MB if BN wins the state from PAS in GE13.
Mukhriz is currently Kedah Umno deputy chief and Jerlun MP.
But Dr Mahathir conceded that Mukhriz was still “struggling” to establish himself politically, and that he had personally discouraged his children from being active in politics when he was prime minister.
“As far as Mukhriz (is concerned) I knew he was interested (but) by not allowing him to go into politics when I was PM, he couldn’t start as early as I did. So he did not have that head start.
“He’s struggling, finding things very difficult, he has to establish himself,” said the country’s longest-serving prime minister.