Dr Mahathir is Pakatan's candidate for Langkawi (Updated)

LANGKAWI: It was a perfect setting for former premier Tun Dr Mahathir to formally launch his political comeback at a ripe age of 92 with his former nemesis Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail declaring that he would stand on the island resort.

After Wan Azizah completed a brief poem (pantun) and cries of "Hidup Tun" (Long Live Mahathir) echoed, a heavy downpour appeared from nowhere.

"Its hujan rahmat (a blessing), We are ready for battle," said Juhari Bulat, who will stand in the Air Hangat state seat here for Mahathir's deregistered party - Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

Mahathir was widely believed to be the architect behind the rise of Langkawi as a premier regional tourism destination.

Just five years earlier, Wan Azizah used to despise Mahathir for jailing her husband for the first time from 1998 until 2004 when he was set free by Mahathir's successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

But now, she stood on the same stage with the grandfather of Malaysian politics, paying tribute to his legacy in Langkawi and to the cries of reformasi (reform).

It showed that politics was the art of making possible the impossibilities.

Juhari, a retired teacher turned contractor, was the former Langkawi Umno division, permanent chairperson.

His brother was a former five-term assemblyperson for Padang Matsirat, now called Air Hangat - Datuk Hasan Bulat.

Ironically, there were speculations that Hasan had not bestowed his blessings, but judging from the response from the local islanders last night, there is optimism among Mahathir's supporters that the Opposition can seize the parliament seat.

But Juhari has dismissed the rumor, saying the family has granted his wish to make a last effort together with Mahathir to set things right for Malaysia.

His other running mate is Mohd Firdaus Ahmad, a young orator, who craved a name for himself as a participant in the Young Parliamentarian programme.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan, the former technocrat, who has decided to join Mahathir's party, would be fielded in the Pendang parliamentary seat.

His advise to the opponents which include PAS and Umno, was not to resort to the polemic issues of race and religion, pointing out that voters would have matured by now not to be taken in by decisive politics.

He said that politicians should fight on a "gentleman" terms as well as to debate on issues central to the development of the country.