LANGKAWI, April 15 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be contesting the Langkawi parliamentary seat in GE14 and his candidacy was confirmed tonight by none other than Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Besides Dr Mahathir, his son — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir — will be contesting both the Jerlun parliamentary seat and the Jitra state assembly seat.
“I proudly announce the candidate for Langkawi… Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad!” PKR president Dr Wan Azizah said during the end of a high-profile ceramah here tonight to cheers from more than 2,000 attendees.
Although the event started out with less than a 1,000 people, the crowd quickly grew as senior Pakatan Harapan leaders took turns to speak.
In Kedah, PBBM will contest a total of 14 state seats and five parliamentary seats.
Wan Saiful Wan Jan, PPBM’s strategy and policy bureau deputy chairman, will be contesting the Pendang parliamentary seat, while PPBM supreme council member Akramsyah Sanusi will be contesting the Jerai parliamentary seat.
Former PAS leader-turned-PPBM member Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah will contest the Kubang Pasu parliamentary seat, as well as the Anak Bukit state seat. He is the incumbent state assemblyman.
PPBM’s Mohd Taufik Yaacob will contest the Baling parliamentary seat.
For the remaining state seats, PPBM’s candidates are: Ayer Hitam (Datuk A. Aziz Mohamad), Bukit Kayu Hitam (Halimahton Saadiah Saad), Bukit Lada (Mohd Aizad Roslan), Kuala Nerang (Syed Fadzil Syed Embun), Sungai Tiang (Abdul Razak Khamis), Jeneri (Mohd Nazari Abu Hassan), Bayu (Abdul Rahim Kechik), Guar Chempedak (Mohd Saffuan Sabari), Tanjung Dawai (Annuar Abd Hamid), Bandar Baru (Datuk Azimi Daim), Kuah (Mohd Firdaus Ahmad) and Ayer Hangat (Johari Bulat).
Dr Mahathir was reportedly the first Malay medical doctor that oversaw healthcare in Langkawi in 1954 when he worked as a medical officer at the Alor Setar General Hospital.
It is understood Dr Mahathir’s contribution to the island’s development started as early as 1960s when he helped establish an extensive ferry service.
In 1980, as deputy prime minister, he was instrumental in the construction of the Kuah jetty and expanded the ferry services. The initiative opened up the island to more people and Langkawi quickly developed as a popular tourism spot.
This paved way for rapid development and by then, the island had modern roads and amenities that included its own public hospital. Today, the island also has its own airport and boasts a cable-car service for tourists.
In 1987, Dr Mahathir as prime minister declared Langkawi a tax-free zone, a move that drew in billions of tourist money into the island and made it among the country’s most popular vacation and shopping spots.