No Doubt That Tun Mahathir Looking To Become The PM Yet Again, Analysts Say
The 97-year-old politician today announced that he will be looking to retain the Langkawi Parliamentary seat in the upcoming GE15.
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Getaran Tanah Air (GTA) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s announcement that he is seeking re-election in Langkawi in the next general election proves that he still harbours hopes to become the prime minister for the third time.
According to Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research (NASR) senior fellow Prof Dr Azmi Hassan, the only reason why the nonagenarian politician would still stand in the next election is to strengthen GTA’s chances of forming the next federal government, be it on its own or through collaboration with other political alliances.
“Tun has indicated in the past that he is open to becoming the prime minister for the third time and he (must) believe that if he could assemble multiple political parties under one big tent as he did in GE14, why couldn’t he do it again this time around?” Azmi told TRP today.
Azmi, however, questions whether GTA has enough support for them to contest in 120 parliamentary constituencies as announced by the loose coalition comprising Malay-based political parties, NGOs, academics and professionals.
“Although they have several parties and associations in their coalition, Pejuang remains its backbone. But looking at how the party fared in the previous Johor state election, perhaps GTA should be more realistic with their target as contesting in 120 federal seats in the Peninsula is a big task, especially for a newly formed coalition,” he said.
Azmi also pointed out that the coalition’s decision to use a separate logo to face the election – with GTA component Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) will be contesting in Kelantan under its own logo while other component parties will use Pejuang’s – has already shown how fragile the alliance is.
Azmi said that it would be better for the pact to pick targeted seats within the Peninsula to contest in GE15 as compared to the current plan.
Meanwhile, historian and political pundit Datuk Dr Ramlah Adam also shared the sentiment with Azmi, that it looks likely that Dr Mahathir wanted to become the 10th Malaysian Prime Minister.
She however doubts that GTA would make an impact in GE15 if it were to stand alone.
“They are a new coalition and they do not have the support base or strong election machinery to help them make a dent in the upcoming election.
“Dr Mahathir would need to work with Pakatan Harapan (PH) if GTA were to be taken seriously. While Dr Mahathir’s name would perhaps be enough to get instant recognition among the voters, the same cannot be said about the others,” she said when contacted today.
She also said that GTA perhaps is too ambitious with its target to contest 120 parliamentary seats in the next general election.
“Yes, they may have enough candidates to install in all 120 seats but they need to look back at Pejuang’s performance in the Johor state election. You can contest all you want but hopefully, not all of the candidates will lose their election deposit this time around,” she said sarcastically.
Pejuang forfeited RM210,000 in the Johor state election after all 42 candidates performed abysmally in last March’s election.
Earlier today, Dr Mahathir, in GTA’s press conference in Kuala Lumpur announced that he will be defending his parliamentary seat in GE15.
“However, I’m not the prime minister candidate. A prime minister candidate will only be relevant if we win (the general election),” the elder statesman was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.
The fourth and seventh Malaysian prime minister had on 24 September said that he will accept the position if persuaded and that there were no other candidates around.