KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today continued to mock Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) choice for the PM post should it win the next general election.
“If he wins of course he can be prime minister, he’s very qualified, more qualified than Anwar (Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) because he hasn’t got any historical baggage,” Dr Mahathir said, referring to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
Dr Mahathir (picture), who earlier addressed the International Conference on War-Affected Children here, was commenting on the stand of the delegates at the recent 58th PAS assembly who wanted Abdul Hadi to become prime minister if the opposition pact were to win the coming general election.
Asked whether this decision will help the Islamist party garner more votes from the Malay community, Dr Mahathir side-stepped the question by poking fun at veteran PR leaders.
“Karpal (Singh) also is qualified … (if) he puts on his turban, he’s as qualified as (Datuk) Nik Aziz,” the Premier Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) president said.
“Sama serban ada, janggut pun ada, apa lagi hendak? (They would both have turbans, beards, what else do you want?)”
On Tuesday, Dr Mahathir had said that PAS’s intention to make its president prime minister shows that the parties in PR were squabbling among themselves, and cynically said that the post should be given to DAP chairman Karpal Singh.
“Even before forming the government, they are already squabbling, later (if) they form the government not only Hadi, Anwar and even Karpal Singh too would want to be PM.
“Just give it to him. (It’s) tough, he had struggled too long... should give Karpal Singh (to be) Malaysia’s prime minister, yang amat berhormat... upon retiring he becomes a Tun,” he had told reporters after launching the Gaza Emergency Fund.
The resounding support of PAS delegates in the assembly, or muktamar, had contradicted the stand taken by the PR leadership, which has repeatedly endorsed its de facto leader Anwar for the post of prime minister.
In the muktamar, Abdul Hadi had played down a suggestion from party delegates that he become the next prime minister instead of Anwar, saying he would rather be a “servant” to the country instead of pursuing the post.
Anwar had on Sunday responded positively to calls from PAS members, saying the proposal could be discussed, despite his ambition for the post being no secret.
“No problem, kita boleh bincang dengan baik (we can discuss this amicably),” Anwar told reporters.