KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — While the Opposition dithers over its prime ministerial candidate, a new video emerged on social media today showing Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad endorsing Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal for the role.
The former prime minister who had been nominated by DAP and Amanah to return to office if Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the next general election said he no longer aim for the post.
“I will campaign for Shafie, and I will explain why we have chosen him, which I hope all will understand,” Dr Mahathir said in the video that was uploaded on Facebook today.
The 94-year-old was said to be addressing Bersatu grassroots at the Perdana Putra Leadership Foundation headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday.
In the video, Dr Mahathir described Shafie who is president of Parti Warisan Sabah as being of a similar mind with him and the rest of Bersatu — the party he co-founded with incumbent Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, whom he is now at loggerheads with.
Dr Mahathir added that Shafie is a suitable PM candidate as he opposed kleptocracy.
“This is why we must support Shafie. And to me, support for him is akin to support for me.
“Even though there has been a slight change, I hope the grassroots will understand and also support Shafie as well,” he said to applause from the attendees.
Dr Mahathir’s office has not confirmed nor denied the contents of the video. It is understood that it will release a statement later.
Dr Mahathir’s candidacy as PM has been opposed by PKR, the third party in the PH coalition which wants its president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be named for the job instead.
Shafie’s candidacy would provide an alternative to the current stalemate. If successful, he would be the first prime ministerial nominee from East Malaysia.