Dr M’s game plan ‘to exploit split election and be PM again’

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad, by seeking re-election in Langkawi, could be hoping to exploit a split general election and offer himself to be prime minister again, says a political analyst.

However, another analyst said that even if Mahathir won re-election, his influence was fading and he would be unable to help propel his new Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition into mainstream politics.

The analysts were commenting on Mahathir’s announcement yesterday that he would stand for election again in Langkawi, where he was elected in 2018 by a majority of 8,800 votes.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said Mahathir might have decided to contest again because he anticipated that no party would win enough votes to form the next government.

This meant that there would be a disagreement on who would become prime minister, he said, “which is why he will stand for election and offer himself for the post”.

In September, Mahathir had admitted that there were still many who wanted him to lead the country again, but added that he had yet to make a decision.

Mahathir, 97, led a Barisan Nasional government from 1981 to 2003, and a Pakatan Harapan government from May 2018 to February 2020.

His decision to contest GE15 showed a failure to groom a protege, says political analyst Jeniri Amir, a fellow of the Council of Professors.

He said Mahathir’s shoes were too big for others, including son Mukhriz, to fill. “Mukhriz is not in the same league as Mahathir,” Jeniri

He said GTA would have difficulty in winning votes or support because Mahathir’s brand of politics could not be replicated.

However, Mahathir’s influence was fading, he said. “Mahathir may win, but GTA won’t go far as it is only a movement and not a party with any influence.”


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