KAPAR: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has challenged Khairy Jamaluddin to run against him in Langkawi.
This follows the Umno Youth chief’s claim that Mahathir could not have developed the resort island without Barisan Nasional’s (BN) support.
“Ask him to contest against me in Langkawi,” the PPBM chairman said today when asked to comment on Khairy’s remarks.
Khairy, who is Rembau MP and youth and sports minister, had said last night that although Mahathir was considered to have contributed to Langkawi’s progress during his time as prime minister from 1981 to 2003, it would not have been possible without Umno and BN.
He said this was because it was Umno that had nurtured Mahathir to be prime minister.
“Imagine if the BN has no power, there is no provision. Langkawi will not develop,” Khairy said.
“We remember and thank Mahathir, but for the next 10 to 30 years, we must support the party leaders who are able to continue bringing progress to our people.”
Mahathir had focused on Langkawi since the early days of becoming PM. He had also granted duty-free status to Langkawi and set up the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) to plan its development.
Mahathir continued to help in its development, visiting the island regularly and inspecting its progress.
Mahathir is expected to be fielded in either Langkawi or Kubang Pasu, where he was MP from 1974 to 2004, in the 14th general election (GE14).
Speaking at the Pesta Ponggal Vanniar here today, Mahathir also claimed that he did know whether his son and PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir would contest a state seat in Selangor.
“I don’t know that. He will be contesting but I don’t know where,” he said when asked.