Tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition seeking a 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nomination for newly-elected Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
The Change.org petition started by Alexandria Abishegam on Saturday, 26 May, has received 88,824 of its 150,000 signatures target at the time of writing.
According to The Straits Times, a similar signature campaign that sought to nominate Pakistani child activist Malala Yousafzai for the prize in 2012, garnering nearly 300,000 signatures, proved successful. Yousafzai was nominated in 2013 and was awarded the prize in 2014.
Calling Tun Dr Mahathir "the Nelson Mandela of Malaysia", the petition seeks a nomination in recognition of his determination at age 93 to return to politics and for "helming a peaceful transfer of power"
Abishegam wrote that, "Though all manner of underhanded 'tricks' were used to prevent a fair election, Tun Dr Mahathir inspired millions of voters - 'the ordinary rakyat (people)' - cutting across all racial & religious backgrounds to fight back by voting and speaking out in a peaceful and non-violent way."
"The victory of the Tun Dr Mahathir led election victory displacing the ruling Barisan Nasional party after more than 60 years in power was not only stunning and historic but has brought with it a new dawn a 'Malaysia Baru' (new Malaysia)," she added.
In the comments section of the page, signatories expressed their appreciation towards Tun Dr Mahathir for his contributions to the country, and pride in his appointment as Prime Minister of Malaysia for the second time
Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir has since said that though the gesture is flattering, awards and recognition have never been her father's goal
Last week, a Change.org petition for Tun Dr Mahathir to become Education Minister was created after he announced that he was no longer handling the portfolio: