Mahathir Mohamad
Mahathir MohamadReuters

Mahathir Mohamad said on Wednesday that he will return as Malaysia’s prime minister if he has majority support from Parliament, The Associated Press reports.

Mohamad, the world’s oldest leader at 94, submitted his resignation to the country’s king on Monday following the abrupt collapse of his ruling coalition.

The move had thwarted a pre-election agreement by Mohamad to hand over power to his named successor, Anwar Ibrahim.

Mohamad said he would form a new government that isn’t party-centric but one that prioritizes national interests if given a chance to helm the country again.

“If I really still have support, I will return. If not, I will accept whoever’s chosen,” he was quoted as having said in a televised message.

“I am not aiming to be popular,” he said. “I just want to do what is best for the country. … I believe, rightly or wrongly, politics and political parties must be set aside for now. If allowed, I will form an administration that does not side with any party. Only national interest will be prioritized.”

Mohamad is notorious for his anti-Semitic statements. In 2012, he wrote on his personal blog that “Jews rule this world by proxy.”

In August of 2018, Mohamad defended his right to be anti-Semitic, arguing that anti-Semitism is an artificial construct created to silence critics of the Jews.

In October that year, he said that Jews are "hook-nosed" and accused them of creating problems in the Middle East.

In June of 2019, he unleashed a stream of anti-Semitic statements during an appearance at Cambridge University.

“I have some Jewish friends, very good friends. They are not like the other Jews, that’s why they are my friends,” Mohamad said in response to a question about previous anti-Jewish statements. The response was met with laughter from some in the audience.

Last September, Mohamad spoke at Columbia University as part of its annual world leaders forum, where he defended his past anti-Semitic statements and questioned the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust.