LANGKAWI: The return of Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a parliamentary candidate was made official this morning, with the 92-year-old former prime minister being named one of three candidates for the Langkawi parliamentary seat.
He will challenge the re-election campaign of Nawawi Ahmad (BN), with Zubir Ahmad of PAS making up the contest.
Ayer Hangat state seat, part of Langkawi, will also have a three-cornered fight between Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid (BN), Juhari Bulat (PH) and Azlina Azinan (PAS).
In Kuah, Nor Saidi Nanyan (BN) is challenged by Mohd Firdaus Ahmad (PH), Mazlan Ahmad (PAS) and Mohamad Ratu Mansor (Independent).
The day had begun as early as 8.30am, with supporters from all three sides painting Kuah town blue, green and red in party colours.
A 300-metre stretch of road in front of the nomination centre at the land and district office was closed to traffic.
Dr Mahathir was relieved that the nomination process went without a hitch. He is contesting Langkawi for the first time, but had represented Kubang Pasu on the mainland for seven terms before retiring.
He was disappointed to learn that PKR’s Tian Chua had been disqualified from seeking re-election in Batu, Kuala Lumpur.
“There is no reason why he should be disqualified. I also regret that the Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan won the Rantau state seat uncontested.
“Otherwise, everything here went well,” he told reporters while attending a kenduri afterwards.
BN’s Nawawi said he was unconcerned at the strong show of support by a large crowd of PH supporters outside the nomination centre.
“These supporters are from outside. Imported supporters are common. It is not like they can vote. They just come to support.
“On our side, we know the uncles and aunties in the villages. We have been with them, so we know their level of support for us,” he said after being announced as the BN candidate.
Nawawi was elected in 2013 with an 11,861 majority, defeating PKR’s Ahmad Abdullah.
The island seat has generally been a BN stronghold and had returned Umno’s Abu Bakar Taib, a former agriculture ministry parliamentary secretary, for four consecutive terms.