Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Malaysia's Mahathir named opposition PM candidate

Malaysia's Mahathir named opposition PM candidate

PH consists of PKR, Dr Mahathir's year-old Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, the Chinese-majority Democratic Action Party and moderate Islamists, Parti Amanah Negara.

Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will be the coalition's candidate for deputy prime minister.

"Additionally Dr Mahathir's promises of a wholesale reform of the Malaysian political system is somewhat questionable, seeing as it was he who laid its groundwork to begin with", he said, as quoted by the Malay Mail Online.

If the opposition ousts the Umno-led coalition which has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957, Mahathir's position as premier is supposed to be temporary, with Anwar taking over once he is released from jail and has secured a royal pardon to overturn a ban on politics. "I thank Alliance of Hope for making it even easier for the National Front to win the upcoming general election", Abdul Rahman Dahlan, a cabinet minister tweeted on Sunday, adding that the opposition alliance's talks of getting younger leaders were mere rhetoric.

Irmohizam said PH's move has triggered unsatisfactory feelings among 1998 reformists within the coalition, who had protested Dr Mahathir's sacking of deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that year.

Opposition said Sunday that it would seek royal pardon for Anwar Ibrahim, its de facto leader, to pave way for him to become prime minister.

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), which was part of the opposition group in 2013, is no longer part of the pact.

He likened such desperate arrangement to the rotation of Chief Ministers in Sabah in the mid-1990s when Dr Mahathir was Prime Minister which also created problems in the State's administration and did not benefit Sabah and the people due to changes of policies and approaches.

"We are highly sceptical of the opposition's prospects if they continue to be split as things are now", Mr Ibrahim said.

The Mahathir-Anwar coalition and their endorsement of each other is a turnaround from their bitter feud that has shaped Malaysia's political landscape for almost two decades.

Anwar later led an opposition alliance to stunning electoral gains in 2013.

This is the first time anyone has given an actual date for Anwar's release after serving a five-year sentence for sodomy.

Anwar was again convicted in 2014 for sodomy, a charge he says was an attempt to end his career, and jailed a year later after failing to overturn the verdict.

He said Mahathir who has been in and out of Umno several times, had successfully hijacked the struggle of the opposition pact, especially PKR, which was formed to fight for Anwar under Dr Mahathir's premiership.

Najib has been embroiled in a corruption scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). The US Justice Department has alleged in civil lawsuits that about $4.5 billion was misappropriated.

And Najib, who founded 1MDB and has denied all allegations of corruption against him, was cleared of wrongdoing by Malaysia's attorney-general.

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