LANGKAWI: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is “returning” here to contest in the Langkawi parliamentary seat.
He will contest as an independent candidate, but will use the PKR logo.
The announcement of his candidacy was made by PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail during a Pakatan Harapan gathering here last night.
Dr Mahathir’s son Datuk Seri Mukhriz will contest the Jitra state seat and Jerlun parliamentary seat.
He had named all the Pakatan candidates for parliament and state seat candidates for Kedah, except for Langkawi.
That announcement was left to Dr Wan Azizah who spoke after Mahathir left the rostrum.
She told of Dr Mahathir’s sentimental affection for Langkawi and described the funding focus he gave to the islands here during his premiership.
“The Registrar of Societies temporarily disbanded Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, but Pakatan Harapan parties are united.
“And to show it, we welcome Dr Mahathir to contest under the PKR ticket,” she said during the event held at a small field near the Langkawi airport here.
Mukhriz, who was the first to speak after the arrival of Opposition party leaders, asked the crowd to raise their handphones with their torchlights turned on to indicate to the press members covering the event of the large audience.
In his speech, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu said it was impossible for DAP leader Lim Kit Siang to become prime minister if Pakatan wins.
“We want Tun to become our prime minister, once and for all,” Mohamad said.
Pribumi president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin called on Pakatan supporters to rally behind the PKR symbol.
Dr Mahathir, who went on a walkabout earlier in the day, called on Langkawi residents to support him.
The backdrop of the ceramah stage spoke of the start of his campaign here which was printed with the words “Jelajah Harapan Langkawi”.
During his time as prime minister, Dr Mahathir had put much effort to develop Langkawi, including upgrading its airport and making the island as the international location for the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition.
He had spent his early years as a medical officer at a hospital here in the 1960s and reminisced about being one of the few people here who had a car then.
After the island was made into a federal constituency in 1994, Langkawi has been a Barisan Nasional stronghold.
The number of voters here has grown considerably from 29,567 in 2008 to 37,536 voters in 2013.
The incumbent Langkawi MP is Umno’s Nawawi Ahmad.
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