Mahathir to stump for Anwar in Port Dickson by-election

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad earlier said he does not normally take part in by-election campaigns.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad earlier said he does not normally take part in by-election campaigns.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday said he will campaign for fellow Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim in the Port Dickson by-election, reported The Star.

Tun Dr Mahathir, who is PH chairman, said he would visit the coastal town in Negeri Sembilan on Monday, after earlier saying he does not normally take part in by-election campaigns.

Datuk Seri Anwar is meant to take over the helm from Dr Mahathir in two years' time, as agreed by members of the PH coalition. Standing in the by-election will pave the way for Mr Anwar's return to Parliament.

Dr Mahathir explained yesterday that he made the decision after public criticism of his previous statement that he would not stump for Mr Anwar in the by-election set for Oct 13. Dr Mahathir's decision will also help dispel rumours of a strained relationship between the two leaders.

"A lot of people are making all kinds of remarks against me. So I go there," he told a press conference after the PH presidential council meeting, reported the Malay Mail.

According to news site Malaysiakini, the last time Dr Mahathir went on a by-election campaign trail was for former ruling pact Barisan Nasional's Bukit Gantang campaign in 2009.

Dr Mahathir explained yesterday that he made the decision after public criticism of his previous statement that he would not stump for Mr Anwar in the by-election set for Oct 13.

Some quarters have complained that Mr Anwar used government machinery in his campaign, as he attended a function in Port Dickson graced by Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu. Port Dickson, with its military training centre and an army museum, has a substantial population of servicemen.

Said Dr Mahathir, as quoted by Malaysiakini: "It wasn't a government function but a veterans'. These people are already retired. It's not a function carried out by the Defence Minister but he was there as a party member."

 

Dr Mahathir also expressed hope that outstation voters would return to cast their ballots on Oct 13 as there will be no postal voting, reported The Star.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2018, with the headline 'Mahathir to stump for Anwar in Port Dickson by-election'. Print Edition | Subscribe