On April 15, 2018, Mahathir announced to the nation that he will be contesting in Langkawi for the upcoming PRU-14. Just as expected, it became a hot news in the nation. Every news outlets report on it, PRU Langkawi news exposure peaked drastically compared to the past few months.
Previously in his prime, he served the parliamentary seat of Kubang Pasu for seven terms from 1974 to 1999. But why is he not choosing to go back to Kubang Pasu, but Langkawi?
Some people might speculate that Mahathir might not be so certain about his popularity in Kubang Pasu, but that might be only half of the story. Instead of saying Mahathir is not confident with Kubang Pasu, maybe we should say, Mahathir is extremely confident in Langkawi.
Langkawi MP Nawawi is aware of his current position. On April 24, he had an interview with KiniTV. When he was asked about his advantage over Mahathir, he replied that Mahathir is old and doesn’t have the energy to work as a politician. It is the same argument that Najib used on his former mentor.
Besides, he said that his family have lived on the island for three generations and Mahathir is an outsider. However, he couldn’t come up with any contribution that he made for Langkawi as an argument. But, he personally acknowledged Mahathir’s contributions for the island. Tun M’s legacy is too strong in Langkawi. There is a museum dedicated to Mahathir, called Galeria Perdana (Langkawi) which was opened in April 1995.
When we look into the top influencers for general election in Langkawi, Mahathir took the lead. He made 1,326 statements for the past one-year period. Meanwhile, his opponent Nawawi only made 158 statements.
Based on the five stages of grief, Nawawi was in the bargaining stage. He requested Mahathir to compete in any seats other than Langkawi. Plus, he admitted the greatness of Tun M and he don’t want to clash with him as both of them have a good relationship.
As the PRU-14 getting closer, the tension between Najib and Mahathir is becoming more intense. Mahathir have become more active on the island. Nawawi had moved to the stage of acceptance where he will be losing the MP seat.
Mahathir showed high confident, while Nawawi have low confident in defending his seat. Their confidence level will reflect their performance during the campaign period. Nevertheless, we have to wait for the PRU-14 result to confirm whether Mahathir is still influential in Langkawi.