With the announcement that former PM Tun Mahathir Mohamad is to fight the elections in Kedah as a candidate for the opposition, tongues are wagling that the state is lost to the ruling Barisan Nasional.
The UMNO is currently heading the state with a slim majority, but with Mahathir set to be a candidate at Kubang Pasu, his old seat for decades, things might go well for its opponents.
While the party’s candidate has yet to be finalised, the PPBM chairman’s name is, unsurprisingly, among those shortlisted, said Free Malaysia Today.
Kubang Pasu PPBM division chief Mohd Hairy Md Saad said this was because the 93-year-old was a former MP of the area and still much loved by the community.
He said sentiment towards Mahathir was still favourable, even after the former prime minister left Umno and formed his own party which is now part of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) opposition pact.
“It is not just Kubang Pasu folk and PPBM supporters who still love Mahathir. Those from Umno still do as well.”
Umno has been a dominant party in the constituency which had only two representatives so far, Mahathir and his replacement, Mohd Johari Baharum.
Mahathir, a Kedah native, held the Kubang Pasu seat, which has over 65,000 registered voters, for seven terms until 2004.
He was the prime minister from 1981 to 2003.
The opposition party said a majority of Umno branches in Kubang Pasu have failed to hold their meetings due to a lack of quorum.
The only hiccup for Mahathir’s party Bersatu in Kedah is the Islamists PAS. They will contest against the Umno and the Bersatu.