Mahathir open to contesting under Anwar's party in upcoming elections

Mahathir open to contesting under Anwar's party in upcoming elections

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday (Mar 13) that he was open to contesting under Anwar Ibrahim's People's Justice Party should his party be deregistered before polls. 

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), which was set up by Dr Mahathir after he quit the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in 2016, is being investigated by the Registrar of Societies after "hundreds of complaints" were allegedly lodged by former members. 

With elections expected to be called within weeks, Dr Mahathir said during a press conference that he was open to contesting under other parties in the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan.  

Last year, he was nominated to be interim prime minister should the coalition win in the upcoming election, which must be held by August. 

"I'm open ... I can stand for (Democratic Action Party) even," he said, referring to the party which another former political rival, Lim Kit Siang, belongs to.

"All those things will be considered (but) we must ensure that the people know who is contesting and so on."

Pakatan Harapan said it has yet to hear back from the Registrar of Societies on its own application to be registered as a coalition as well. 

It will soon announce which of the four component parties' logos would be used to contest in polls. 

Both Pakatan and Bersatu have taken legal action against the Registrar of Societies as well, claiming bias.

"They're trying to find fault with us," said Dr Mahathir. "We have been registered, now they're questioning this and that and this and that."

The government body, however, denied any wrongdoing, saying it was investigating PPBM and processing Pakatan's application according to procedure. 

Source: CNA/ad