KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) most obvious choice for being Prime Minister now as he is the most qualified leader within the coalition, analysts have said. &
They believe that the former prime minister is currently viewed as the face of the Opposition since PKR defacto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s incarceration, and would be the most likely choice to garner public support ahead of the 14th general election.
“Fact is now nobody in PH has as high a political standing as Dr M. This is a clear indication of the dire political predicament we as Malaysians are landed in nowadays.
“The democratic deficit in the country is such that we are put between a rock and a hard place, having to choose essentially the lesser of two evils, with no way to tell which is which,” Oh Ei Sun, adjunct senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, told Malay Mail.
He also said the only factor that might be a hindrance to Dr Mahathir was his age but from the looks of things in the past few months, the 92-year-old has been going strong.
The choice of Dr Mahathir for the prime minister post also shows the lack of leadership in the Opposition bloc, Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Sivamurugan Pandian said.
He also stressed that PH should also come clean if Dr Mahathir would only be interim PM and if he had agreed to allowing Anwar to take over after him.
“PH may have to clarify how the selection is made as It could lead to more questions if PH is lack of new leaders. Also if Dr Mahathir has agreed Anwar as the next PM after his interim period,” Sivamurugan said.
Merdeka Centre’s Ibrahim Suffian however said that naming a PM candidate now would not make any difference for Opposition support but would only aid in resolving seat matters among the PH parties.
“To be really honest am not sure if this will make a difference with voters because Dr M has been the face of the Opposition now.
“The bigger question is whether or not this will help them prevail in a multi-corner contest,” he said when contacted.
Citing an unnamed source, The Malaysian Insight recently reported that Dr Mahathir would return to the post if PH wins the general election.
The report also claimed that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would be the deputy prime minister in the same scenario.
Dr Mahathir was prime minister from 1981 to 2003, and is the longest holder of the position by nearly a decade.&