Ex-Malaysia PM Mahathir to run again for office aged 92

  • Ex-Malaysia PM Mahathir to run again for office aged 92

Ex-Malaysia PM Mahathir to run again for office aged 92

The four-party PH, when not busy trading barbs with PAS, is split on whether to nominate Dr Mahathir as its candidate for prime minister, should it win the upcoming elections.

Parliamentary elections will be held in Malaysia in August this year. But the then Prime Minister also restrained freedom of expression and oversaw a rise in cronyism.

Additionally, Mahathir's victory will pave the way for Anwar Ibrahim, who is now serving a sentence for a sodomy conviction until Jun 8, to become the prime minister.

Surprisingly, the Selangor chapter of Anwar's Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is also against Dr Mahathir's nomination.

Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Seri Irmohizam Ibrahim said investors would be anxious and doubtful of former prime minister Dr Mahathir's leadership, pointing out that the citizens of Zimbabwe, on the other hand, had revolted against the three-decade authoritarian rule of former president Robert Mugabe.

Mahathir, who during his 22-year tenure as prime minister earned a reputation of being a no-nonsense authoritarian with little time for dissenters promoting liberal values, stands to become the world's oldest leader if the opposition wins.

He said Mahathir who has been in and out of Umno several times, had successfully hijacked the struggle of the opposition pact, especially PKR, which was formed to fight for Anwar under Dr Mahathir's premiership.

But Anwar was convicted and jailed again in 2013 for allegedly sodomizing a former aide, a charge he and his supporters describe as an attempt to end his career.

Tian Chua, a lawmaker from Anwar's People's Justice Party, said Mahathir could deliver the knock-out blow to a government already reeling from the 1MDB scandal.

He also felt that the party's decision was probably also motivated by the belief that Mahathir still had the capacity to influence the Malays in West Malaysia.

The Mahathir-led opposition, however, looks unlikely to unseat the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, according to a survey conducted by independent polling firm Merdeka Center in December.

Mr Najib, 64, is now unassailable in his party Umno and in the 13-party BN coalition, after locally containing the scandal surrounding state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

The fund has denied any wrongdoing and Mr Najib, who founded 1MDB, has denied all allegations of corruption against him and was cleared of wrongdoing by Malaysia's attorney-general.

Mahathir formed Bersatu a year ago and toured the country to garner support with the sole aim of unseating Najib, the only common ground that existed among a fragmented opposition alliance. Najib's coalition lost the popular vote in that election, but won a majority of the seats in parliament.

He was also anxious about leadership crisis and reminded that once you're on top, it will not be so easy to go down.

Tun Dr Mahathir and Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah are seen when the Pakatan Harapan convention ended, January 7, 2018. "I don't last forever".