Mahathir turns down offer to contest Gombak parliamentary seat

Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said that he has already decided to contest either in Langkawi, Kubang Pasu or Putrajaya.
Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said that he has already decided to contest either in Langkawi, Kubang Pasu or Putrajaya.PHOTO: AFP

SETIAWANGSA - Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday (Jan 14) turned down an offer to contest the parliamentary seat of Gombak in the upcoming 14th general election.

"I have already decided that I will contest in either Langkawi, Kubang Pasu or Putrajaya," said Tun Dr Mahathir, 92, who is chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), a component party of opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan (PH).

He was speaking at the launch of PPBM's Setiawangsa division in Kuala Lumpur, reported The Star.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president and Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, who has held the Gombak seat for two terms, made the offer to give up his seat on Saturday.

He tweeted: "I am prepared to give way to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Gombak if that it is agreeable to PKR. Let us build consensus for the people."

Gombak is a marginal seat that Mr Azmin won with 51.4 per cent of votes cast during the 13th general election.

The race there is expected to be tough with Parti Islam SeMalaysia likely to enter the fray against Barisan Nasional and PH, reported Malaysiakini.

Meanwhile, PH will limit the term of the post of prime minister to only two terms and will separate the finance minister's post from the prime minister's portfolio if it wins the election, which must be held by August.

PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir said the proposal is in the opposition pact's manifesto, reported Bernama news agency.

He said PH would also propose that the appointment of the inspector-general of police, attorney-general, and the heads of the Election Commission, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and National Audit Department should go through parliament first and not be appointed based on the prime minister's recommendation.