TAMPARULI: Having Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Pakatan Harapan's candidate for Prime Minister is rather entertaining according to United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko).
Upko’s acting president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, in a statement, said the opposition pact in the past had promised to bring the former Prime Minister to justice if it wins the 13th General Election (GE).
"So I find it very amusing. Prior to the last general election, one of the Pakatan's campaign promises was to bring Dr Mahathir to justice within 24 hours of winning Putrajaya for what they alleged to be his 22 years of abuses and corruption.
"Now, prior to the 14th GE, Pakatan promises to put back this person into power should they win – the very same person who they promised to (send to) jail in GE13," he said.
Tangau was commenting on the Pakatan Harapan's prime minister candidacy as announced by its secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah during the pact's convention earlier today.
PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was nominated as the deputy prime minister candidate.
However, Tangau said the opposition pact has the right to name whoever they want as their prime minister and deputy prime minister candidates.
"If they want to name a 93-year-old person, who Lim Kit Siang said was the root cause of all of Malaysia's problems as the Prime Minister candidate, so be it.
"Or the person who was once recently denied to be Menteri Besar because she was seen as a remote-controlled Menteri Besar. It is not for me to comment since it is their choice," he said.
Having said that, Tangau, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, reiterated that no Sabahans will ever forgive Dr Mahathir for his "Projek IC".
"After the Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants in Sabah, Dr Mahathir himself had openly admitted to be responsible and even proud to have done Projek IC.
"Everywhere I go, I hear Dr Mahathir being named the prime minister candidate as a big liability for Harapan and their Warisan allies in Sabah, as we remember very well Projek IC, and also the neglect of Sabah and Sarawak during his tenure as Prime Minister previously.
"We certainly do not want to nor can afford a repeat of that," said the Tuaran MP.
As for Pakatan's plan to challenge the pardon's board, Tangau reserved his comment on the matter.
"Perhaps they have a lot of money for lawyers? Just like how (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) recently challenged three laws in courts as being unconstitutional.
"It is the very same laws that he and Dr Mahathir was chiefly responsible for implementing in the first place. It is mind-boggling," quipped Tangau.
Earlier, Tangau attended a party branch gathering, where he received over 100 new membership applications from Upko Jalan Bukit Perahu branch.
Meanwhile, Sabah Umno Youth vice-chief Shahelmy Yahya said the move by Pakatan to name Dr Mahathir as a candidate for prime minister is a sign that the opposition lacks young leaders.
"Considering Dr Mahathir once stepped down from the post many years back and now in his golden years, the move is just a tactic to lure voters by looking back at past glory rather than living in the present reality.
"Same goes to the move to initiate a royal pardon for the early release of Anwar Ibrahim. Being an opposition front with all those moves to gather the veteran ex-leaders to be at the forefront is just not what the new younger voters would prefer," he said.