An online petition was launched on social enterprise website Change.org to lobby for Dr Mahathir’s nomination as a Nobel Peace Prize candidate this year, in recognition of his bold comeback to the political arena despite being advanced in years.
The petition, addressed to the Nobel Foundation, was launched on Saturday (May 26) by Change.org user Alexandria Abishegam who aims to make known to the world Dr Mahathir’s “determination at age 93 to return to politics”.
Abishegam wrote in the petition’s description that the prime minister had cast aside political prejudices to stand alongside opposition parties and leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and Mohamad Sabu to “save” the nation.
She also highlighted Dr Mahathir’s beliefs pertaining to governance and willingness to own up to his previous mistakes as factors worth considering for his nomination.
“Tun Dr Mahathir focused on the importance of transparency, democracy and rule of law for Malaysia. The fact that Tun Dr Mahathir has also openly admitted his own faults and apologized for his mistakes of the past makes him truly a ‘Giant of a Man’ and a leader to emulate,” said Abishegam.
Furthermore, she lauded him for inspiring millions of voters from all racial and religious backgrounds to displace the once dominant Barisan Nasional (BN) party in a peaceful and non-violent manner using their votes and voices.
Dr Mahathir was likened to anti-apartheid activist and subsequent President of South Africa Nelson Mandela for his effort to revolutionise Malaysia’s political landscape.
At time of writing, the petition has amassed over 90,000 online signatures from users in favour of Dr Mahathir’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination. The current target is 150,000 signatures according to the petition’s webpage.
“This man is God’s gift to Malaysia. At 93 years old he still has the strength and willpower to rescue this country out of economic doldrum/disaster,” user Saminal Idris commented.
Another user, Greggory Chew, wrote: “Most deserving for his untiring efforts to save Malaysia from the clutches of corrupted Barisan Nasional government.”
Dr Mahathir may not be able to receive the coveted award this year however, as the deadline for Nobel Peace Prize nominations is Feb 1, 2018, says the official Nobel Prize website.