Dr Mahathir Mohamad had stepped down as prime minister in 2003 after more than two decades at the helm, but remains ar the political forefront.
He was instrumental in ousting his handpicked successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and at present is on the warpath against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
This time around, he has taken it to the next level by forming Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and forging an alliance with political adversaries of the past.
Now, there is speculation that the 92-year-old former premier might contest in the upcoming general election.
Speaking at an event yesterday, Mahathir reportedly challenged Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz to contest against him in Langkawi, Kedah.
“I am telling him to contest against me in Langkawi instead. That is, if I contest at all in the next general election,” he had said.
He was responding to Nazri who challenged him to contest in the latter’s Padang Renggas parliament seat in Perak.
Mahathir, who hails from Kedah, had been instrumental in the development of Langkawi. He is also the pro-tem Bersatu division chief for the island.
Prior to his retirement, Mahathir was the member of parliament for Kubang Pasu in Kedah from 1974 until 2003.
Further fueling speculation of the former premier making a comeback was a posting in a Facebook page in support of his son and former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir.
By accepting Nazri’s challenge and issuing a counter dare to the minister, the posting said: “This is a clear sign that Mahathir will return to contest to be a parliamentarian and has chosen Langkawi as his new base.”
“Although he retired a long time ago, he appears to have no choice but to contest again in order to show his commitment to removing Najib and saving the nation,” it added.
The posting stated that Mahathir is said to be popular and well-liked by the people of Langkawi, and therefore stood a good chance of winning the seat.
The current incumbent is Nawawi Ahmad from Umno, who clinched the seat in the 2013 polls with a 9,546 vote majority.
Given the comfortable margin, the posting urged Nazri to convince Najib to allow him to stand in Langkawi against Mahathir.