Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) leader Husam Musa has suggested Dr Mahathir Mohamad to run for the “symbolic” Putrajaya parliamentary seat.

His suggestion was in response to Universiti Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIA) lecturer Maszlee Malik who had asked him during an event organised by Amanah in Ampang last night, on Pakatan Harapan’s choice of prime minister-in-waiting should the coalition win the next general election.

Husam said he was not so “rigid” on whomever the candidate may be, as long as he or she is agreed upon by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Citing the time in which he contested for the Putrajaya seat in the last general election, he recalled how Mahathir had then given his support to BN.

Husam subsequently gave his suggestion for Mahathir to instead contest for the seat in the upcoming election.

“Putrajaya is Mahathir’s seat. Yes, despite his age to contest, we must have a symbol.

“If Mahathir is permitted to contest the Putrajaya seat, it will be a symbol to shake (the struggle) to Putrajaya (and) I think the rest can be settled.”

Husam added that he had no qualms on whomever becomes premier “as long as it is not (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak)”.

PM choice: ‘why count chickens’

Asked by Maszlee to comment on the matter, Mahathir said that the issue of naming the candidate for prime minister would only create problems among them as “everyone wants to become the prime minister”.

“That’s why, first things first, we need to win, then we will choose. Now we are counting chickens before they are hatched.

“I don’t want to say who (should be prime minister). After we win, we will say it,” he said.

During the question and answer session later, an audience member from the Putrajaya Amanah division insisted that it should either be Husam or Mahathir who should stand in Putrajaya.

But Husam replied that he was content with his state seat of Salor in Kelantan.

“I just want to take care of the state, let (Mahathir) take care of the country,” he said.

Dr M tickled

Later, when asked whether he would consider contesting for the Putrajaya seat, Mahathir chuckled and pointed to the fact how he was already 91 years old.

“How long can I last?” he said to Malaysiakini, when told that he was still going strong.

Earlier on during the event, Federal Territory Amanah chief Mohd Hatta Ramli urged the audience to emulate Mahathir.

The nonagenarian during his premiership, said Hatta, had confronted the United States and there was no one in the country that Mahathir would not dare to face off against.

“This gives encouragement to others. We are still young.

“Tun at 91 can still take the bull by the horns. We who are still young shouldn’t run away when the bull comes and must instead face it.”

This, stressed Hatta, was because the people relied upon the rakyat, in light of the various happenings in the country.

“If we don’t show our bravery, (I am) concerned that the current situation will prolong, so we must wake up.

“Leaders must be brave in coming out with views although sometimes they can be unpopular,” he added.