Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it is up to Barisan Nasional to decide if it wants to contest in the upcoming Penanti by-election.

He claimed he has no influence over the government, to tell it to contest the by-election.

He also said it is obvious that Najib does not depend on him for advice, as evident in the appointment of certain individuals as minister and deputy minister.

For example, he appointed ministers and deputy ministers (who) frankly (laughs) dont deserve to be ministers because they are (allegedly) involved in corruption, he said.

When a journalist brought up the names of Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz (left) and Johari Baharum, Mahathir admitted that the two are among those he has in mind.

Nazri was nasty to me, so of course, I dont like him. Johari had this accusation against him, that he accepted RM5 million to release certain people.

Of course, he was cleared but some people still feel that he is not the kind of person that we should make into a deputy minister.