The combination of parents and children as candidates is set to colour the nomination day proceedings on April 28, before representing their own parties in the 14th General Election (GE14).
As of now, the parents and children combo is more evident within the opposition, be it DAP, Pas, PKR and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), which has been temporarily dissolved.
After 19 years of retirement, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, are set to contest under the PKR banner in Kedah.
PKR president, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, on Sunday, had announced that Dr Mahathir would be standing in the Langkawi parliamentary seat, while Mukhriz will try to wrest back the Jerlun parliamentary seat on top of trying his luck in the Jitra state seat.
Like Dr Mahathir, Wan Azizah is also in the category, contesting GE14 with her daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Despite being Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament for two terms, Nurul Izzah this time is expected to contest in Permatang Pauh, Penang, a stronghold for the family of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim since 1982.
Wan Azizah, as the MP for Permatang Pauh and Kajang assemblyman, is rumoured to be moving to a seat in the Klang Valley.
DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang is almost certain to contest in GE14. Lim, who is the Gelang Patah parliamentary incumbent, has yet to announce where he will be standing, but is it expected that he will give up his current seat.
His son, Lim Guan Eng, who is also Penang Chief Minister, will contest the Air Putih state seat in Penang, and a parliamentary seat which has yet to be announced.
Pas is also in the fray, with a father and son combo in the form of its president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, and his son Muhammad Khalil, set to stand in Terengganu.
Abdul Hadi will defend his Marang parliamentary seat while Muhamad Khalil, who is also Terengganu Pas Youth chief, will challenge for the Batu Burok state seat.
Meanwhile, Pas Ulama Council chief and Johor Pas commissioner, Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed, will contest in the Gambir state seat while his son, Ahmad Nawfal, is Pas’ candidate for the Pagoh parliamentary seat.
Both father and son will also square up to a common opponent, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who will be contesting on a PKR ticket in the two seats apart from tackling new candidates from Barisan Nasional.
Commenting on the parents-children combination, political analyst and Universiti Malaya research panelist, Prof Madya Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi, described it as “legacy politics” and a strategy to drum up support.
“The support received from family dynasty parties will definitely increase as whomever supports the father or mother would also lend their support to the offspring. This is what legacy politics is all about,” he said.
Awang Azman opined that those who pratice legacy politics tend to have a sense of “insecurity” in letting go ofn their positions to other members.
“From another perspective, practitioners of ‘crony nepotism’ do not trust outsiders and those who are not their own flesh and blood.
“(Usually) the lines between party matters and family become blurred. The importance of family politics to these people can be seen sometimes in their actions and the decisions made by the party,” he said.
Meanwhile, defending Pas’ decision to name him as the Batu Buruk state seat candidate, Muhammad Khalil expressed confidence that the voters would evaluate the candidates on their own credentials and not based on family ties. — Reports by Junita Md Rasid, Nadia Hamid, Hanneeyzah Bariah Baharin, Helmy Abd Rahman, Adrian David and Faizul Azlan Razak