Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad will destroy the country if he is allowed to lead again, PAS Youth vice-chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari warned.

Such a scenario meant risking the recurrence of Mahathir-era incidents, such as the Memali incident, the constitutional crisis involving Malay rulers and the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim as deputy prime minister.

“I don’t see the relevance of trusting Mahathir again. He will come back and destroy the country,” he said.

“In fact, we are trying to clean up the many ‘diseases’ which was a result of his reign as prime minister.”

In view of this, Fadhli said Malaysians should reject Mahathir (photo) and instead back PAS, which practices “mature politics”, as the new leaders of Malaysia after the next general election.

He said this when asked to comment by reporters in Kota Bharu today on Mahathir’s joint statement with US human rights lawyer Kimberley Motley which called for Anwar’s unconditional release from prison.

Anwar was convicted of sodomising his former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, and began serving his five-year sentence in February 2015.

He claimed that his conviction was the result of a political conspiracy hatched during the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi-administration.

He faced similar charges in 1998 during the Mahathir-administration and was convicted. The conviction was overturned in 2004.

Talk of Mahathir being Pakatan Harapan’s prime ministerial candidate surfaced after the coalition’s retreat earlier this month.

However, it has been established that this was just one of several proposals being considered by the coalition.

Fadhli, who is also Kelantan PAS Youth chief, said the proposal showed that there was a dearth of talent within Harapan.

“We can see that Harapan does not have (enough) leaders and hence needs Mahathir as their top leader.

“Harapan leaders still have time to review their (proposal) to avoid having to regret (their decision) later,” he said.