Mahathir Will Be The 7th Malaysian PM If Pakatan Harapan Wins GE14
92-year-old Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been named as Pakatan Harapan's prime ministerial candidate for the 14th General Election
Pakatan Harapan made the announcement at its convention yesterday, 7 January.
The decision, however, comes with a condition that requires Dr Mahathir to vacate the post after jailed de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim becomes eligible to be appointed as the prime minister.
Anwar is currently serving a five-year sentence for sodomy and is due to be released on 8 June. He is not allowed to run for political office for five years after his release, unless he is given a royal pardon.
Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will be Dr Mahathir's deputy if Pakatan Harapan wins GE14.
Dr Mahathir is Malaysia's longest serving prime minister, leading the country's longest ruling party, Barisan Nasional, for a total of 22 years. He served five terms as the prime minister of Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir responded by thanking Anwar for accepting this decision and agreeing to work together for GE14's election victory
"I am indebted and thank Anwar for the willingness to cooperate with me and my team in our efforts to save this country," said Dr Mahathir, as reported by theSundaily today.
"It wasn't easy for me to join a movement that was not happy with me in the past, but the effort to topple Najib is greater than my feelings. Therefore, I am willing to cooperate and listen to the criticism towards my old party," he added.
Anwar was the deputy prime minister and finance minister before he was fired in 1998 by Mahathir. He was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption in 1999 and got nine years in prison for sodomy charges in 2000.
It was his arrest that sparked the opposition movement led by his wife, Dr Wan Azizah. After years of being one of Anwar's biggest critics, in 2016, Dr Mahathir left UMNO and formed an alliance with the opposition coalition under the newly-formed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
Meanwhile, responding to Harapan's decision, Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin thinks that it will lead to political instability in the future
Khairy, who is also the Youth and Sports Minister, stressed that this could be due to the uncertainty among investors as Dr Mahathir's term as the prime minister will be a temporary one, depending on when and if Anwar is given a royal pardon to take office.
"If we were to look back at events in 1998, there was an upheaval in the country following the sacking of Anwar by Dr Mahathir who was the prime minister.
"Today they may be friends because they have a common enemy... but the 1998 unrest cannot simply be forgotten. Do you think Dr Mahathir will hand over the prime minister's post easily after six months or a year... and will Anwar wait patiently to take over as prime minister?" questioned Khairy, as reported by Bernama.
MCA publicity spokesperson Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker said that the decision shows that both Anwar and Dr Mahathir have "cheated their supporters and sympathisers and caused irreparable damage to the political system"
"These two men are not statesmen who have the nation in their hearts and mind. They are leaders the people have been living under their shadows and ambitions and are merely pawns in their bigger game of power and political agenda.
"The only logical conclusion for the choice made, despite all the brouhaha on morality, political decencies, and cronyism, Pakatan Harapan is not serious about the change they have been promoting and promising the people. For these two same old me, it's just poltics as usual.
"We are back to square one after 20 years," he said in a statement last night, as reported by Malay Mail Online.
What do you think about Pakatan Harapan's decision to select Dr Mahathir as their prime ministerial candidate? Let us know in the comment section below.