By John Isaac
NEW political party Pejuang has nominated its co-founder Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for a third stint as prime minister, “to save the country” until the next general election.
The decision comes days after Mahathir had denied backing anyone or any particular individual as a candidate to replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.
Dr Mahathir’s political secretary Abu Bakar Yahya said the decision was made by Pejuang’s pro-tem committee.
“The committee members have unanimously decided that Dr Mahathir is our candidate for prime minister to replace the current prime minister pending the next general election if the country wants to be saved,” Abu Bakar said in a Facebook post.
Dr Mahathir was Malaysia’s 4th prime minister, serving from 1981 to 2003, and 7th prime minister, from 2018 to February 2020.
Pejuang is an off-shoot of PPBM, and was co-founded by Dr Mahathir and his supporters after he left PPBM in March in a dispute over the composition of the federal government.
According to Free Malaysia Today, the announcement comes a day after Mahathir submitted a fresh no-confidence motion against Muhyiddin. An earlier attempt in May did not succeed for lack of time at the Dewan Rakyat.
Several other MPs have proposed similar motions, including Mahathir’s son Mukhriz who is pro-tem Pejuang president.
Parliament is due to convene for its year-end session on Nov 2.
News of the no-confidence motion comes in the wake of an announcement by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is PKR president, that he had “formidable” support to form a new government.
However, Dr Mahathir had said he doubted whether Anwar had the numbers in Parliament to take over as prime minister and even if he did, the country would remain in political deadlock.
On Tuesday, Dr Mahathir denied he was backing any particular person as a candidate for prime minister.
“I was informed that I am backing one of the candidates aspiring to be the prime minister, I would like to state that I have never supported anyone as a candidate to become prime minister,” he said in a Facebook posting.