PAS to field Dr M in Kemaman?

PAS is likely to field Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its candidate for the Kemaman parliamentary by-election, said a source close to the former prime minister.

(FMT) – Mahathir was recently appointed an unofficial adviser to the four PAS-led state governments, and the source told FMT that having him in the Dewan Rakyat would allow the veteran politician to “better raise the states’ issues”.

The source said if the former Langkawi MP were to return to the lower house, it would provide him the chance to serve as a more effective “check and balance against the unity government”, which he had been a fierce critic of since it took over Putrajaya last November.

“Talks have started with PAS leaders on his candidacy,” said the source.

“Mahathir wields huge influence among the Malay electorate and grassroots leaders. If he wins, he will be the oldest MP to be elected. (Mahathir is 98.)

“The most important thing is that they want to put Dr M in Parliament to represent the interests of the four state governments. There is no point talking outside the House.”

The source also said the party would win “hands down” as Kemaman was a PAS stronghold.

PAS’s Che Alias Hamid won the seat with a 27,179-vote majority in a four-cornered fight in the 15th general election.

However, the Kuala Terengganu election court annulled the win last month after finding that the payment of i-Belia and i-Siswa aid to voters during the campaign period constituted bribery.

PAS said yesterday it would not file an appeal against the decision, paving the way for another parliamentary by-election in the state after the Kuala Terengganu by-election was held on Aug 12.