Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for prime minister remains anybody’s guess despite earlier media reports of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad possibly helming the country once again. In the latest development during a recent press conference DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had commented that the opposition coalition may announce their choice by next month.

Of course he later qualified this with a “hopefully.” The alliance’s inability to unequivocally announce its prime ministerial candidate is understandable given that all this while it only had one individual in mind. But with Malaysia heading to the polls in the coming months Pakatan Harapan is now hard pressed to name someone, who will be the interim prime minister in the event the opposition coalition wins.

Although Tun Dr. Mahathir’s name was chosen during the Pakatan Harapan retreat there appears to be strong reservations within the People’s Justice Party (PKR) particularly those loyal to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The fact that Lim Guan Eng is unable to say with certainty that a name will be announced next month underscores the gravity of the matter. It also seems to suggest the coalition is not open to leadership renewal or injecting fresh blood. Is there a dearth of qualified young leaders within Pakatan Harapan?

There are several other more suitable candidates within the ranks of Pakatan Harapan such as Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Dato’ Seri Mukhriz Mahathir or even Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Thus it begs the question as to why Tun Dr. Mahathir’s name remains a nominee for interim prime minister. While Pakatan Harapan promotes itself as a group of political parties that are ready to bring about change to Malaysia, it feels like the coalition is only bringing Malaysia back into the past to relive history all over again. Perhaps Malaysians should carefully ponder over this.

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