KUALA LUMPUR - An online petition for Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be considered for this year's Nobel Prize attracted 13,500 signatures by Sunday (May 27) afternoon, just a day after it was launched.
The change.org petition started by Ms Alexandria Abishegam has a target of 15,000 signatures, reported The Malay Mail Online.
Ms Alexandria said Dr Mahathir had inspired millions of voters to oust the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition that had ruled Malaysia for six decades in a peaceful and non-violent way.
"Tun Dr Mahathir is akin to being the 'Nelson Mandela' of Malaysia," according to the petition, referring to the South African anti-Apartheid activist and Nobel Laureate who was that country's first black president.
"For helming a peaceful transfer of power and now specifically stating that the new administration was not out to 'seek revenge'. For giving millions of us ordinary Malaysians hope, renewed faith and most important of all 'pride' in our Malaysia," the petition cited as reasons for selecting Dr Mahathir for the honour.
The petition sought to replicate the success of a signature campaign that sought to nominate Pakistani child activist Malala Yousafzai for the prize in 2012. That petition attracted nearly 300,000 signatures.
Ms Yousafzai was nominated in 2013 and awarded the prize in 2014.
Dr Mahathir led Malaysia for 22 years as prime minister before returning to the post this month after leading the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition to victory over BN in elections earlier this month.