KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — An online petition was started yesterday for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be considered as a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
The petition towards the Nobel Foundation on the Change.org platform has received over 13,500 signatures at the time of writing, just shy of its target of 15,000.
User Alexandria Abishegam, who started the petition, said Dr Mahathir had inspired millions of voters to replace Barisan Nasional (BN) — which had ruled for six decades — in a peaceful and non-violent way.
“Tun Dr Mahathir is akin to being the ‘Nelson Mandela’ of Malaysia,” said the petition, referring to the jailed South African anti-apartheid activist and later its first black president.
“For helming a peaceful transfer of power and now specifically stating that the new administration was not out to ‘seek revenge’. For giving millions of us ordinary Malaysians hope, renewed faith and most important of all ‘pride’ in our Malaysia.”
The petition ostensibly seeks to replicate the success of a similar petition on the platform in 2012, which got nearly 300,000 signatures to nominate Pakistani child activist Malala Yousafzai for the prize.
She was then nominated in 2013, and later awarded the prize in 2014.
Dr Mahathir served Malaysia for 22 years as prime minister, and returned to the post this month after leading Pakatan Harapan to defeat BN that had ruled the country for six decades.