It is confirmed! Mahathir Mohamad will run in the Langkawi seat in his home state of Kedah. Nominations open April 29 and he’ll register then. Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail introduced the former PM during the event on Sunday night, another show of unity for the coalition. The Star pokes holes in Pakatan Harapan’s social media coverage of the event, saying the audience was more bemused onlookers than die-hard MM supporters.
So will he walk it in? Not likely. While he’s certainly got name recognition this race is proving tight. Back in 2013, UMNO took out the seat with a healthy margin and this year’s expected entrance of PAS may further confuse. Which makes me wonder, why would he nominate in a seat he’s not almost certain to win?
Good question, says Universiti Utara Malaysia’s Kamarul Zaman Yusoff. “There is the possibility that other component parties in PH may sabotage Mahathir to ensure he will not win the seat, thus enabling other leaders to become the prime minister should PH come into power.”
How about the Barisan Nasional camp? Channel News Asia has a longer read looking at the ‘Malay tsunami’, the looming threat to a return to government. Sure, the popular vote among Malays for BN increased in 2013 while overall it went against the governing coalition, but we didn’t have the same twin furies of 1MDB and cost-of-living concerns.
The piece reckons that while, yeah, older generations of Malay voters certainly are and will likely remain loyal to the BN cause the younger generations have no such allegiance. The impact of GST is also noted, so I’d imagine we’ll be hearing more of that!