KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today challenged Hishammuddin Hussein to contest in Langkawi, a day after the Umno vice-president dared the PPBM chairman to take on the prime minister in Pekan.
“I dare him to stand in Langkawi,” Mahathir, who is also the PPBM Langkawi division chief, told reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat here.
Yesterday, Hishammuddin labelled the former prime minister’s announcement that he was open to contesting in Pekan against Najib Razak in the next general election as a populist statement.
Hishammuddin said Mahathir had deliberately issued the statement when the Umno divisional delegates’ meetings were being held to disrupt the focus of the party members.
“I see it as a populist statement. I challenge him to contest in Pekan.
“If he dares to, I myself, Datuk Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the whole Barisan Nasional’s leadership will go down there to defend the prime minister’s position as party president … so go ahead, if you dare,” Bernama quoted him as saying.
Mahathir had also today alleged that there were phantom voters in Najib’s constituency, citing the increased number of voters to back up his claim.
“There’s something odd about that place.”
On a separate matter, Mahathir brushed aside Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi’s offer to debate him on issues surrounding 1MDB, saying that Puad wanted to help his “boss” Najib.
Mahathir said Puad, instead, should tell Najib not to fear him.
“This old man can’t do anything. He is young, I am 92. I can’t even say the right things. Why is he afraid?” he said, sarcastically.