Malaysia's 94-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has raised the possibility on Saturday December 14th that he may stay in office beyond 2020 but gave no definitive date when he would step down.
Mahathir, appointed prime minister in 1981, retired in 2003 and returned to the office in 2018, after dealing a historic election defeat to the disgraced coalition he once led, and which had been in power for six decades, according to AFP.
Mahathir led Malaysia for more than two decades, paving the way for the leadership of now corruption-plagued former prime minister, Najib Razak.
"We had a vision to become a fully developed country by 2020. Unfortunately, after I stepped down, the leadership took a different course, different policies. And that caused the target not to be achieved in 2020," Mahathir said at the Doha Forum event in the Qatari capital.
"What we have settled for is we will still try, but we have moved the accomplishment date to between 2025 and 2030", he said, channelnewsasia.com has reported.
"I have promised that I would step down once I have resolved some of the major problems that have been left by the previous government. I promised that I will step down if a leadership candidate has been named by the coalition", Mahathir added.
Anwar Ibrahim, seen by many as his successor, has previously said that he expects to take office by May 2020, but Mahathir has publicly opposed him on several occasions.