The nomination of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the prime ministerial candidate if Pakatan Harapan returns to power is just a short-term strategy for the political coalition.

Ilham Centre executive director Mohamad Hisomuddin Bakar said Pakatan Harapan should take into account that the popularity of the former prime minister had deteriorated among the people.

Mohamad Hisomuddin said if Pakatan Harapan were to stick to the same formula, they would be in trouble in the near future.

"The question of facing the GE15, I think, has a different element, which is probably what we have observed in the field in recent times is the decline of Tun Dr Mahathir’s popularity.

"In the last general election, we recognized with his presence and also what was said as the Pakatan Harapan combination with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, managed to create a surge of Malay voters to the coalition.

"But in the facing GE15, for me, Pakatan Harapan Plus needs to find other formulae and narratives for them to deal with what is said to strengthen their support in rural and mixed areas but take significant numbers to maintain power," he added.

Recently, Parti Keadilan Rakyat took the stance of no longer supporting Dr Mahathir as the prime ministerial candidate, insisting the party's president, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was the most qualified person for the post.

However, allies of PKR, the DAP and Amanah were not in the same tune with them.

Commenting on this, Mohamad Hisomuddin said Pakatan Harapan needed to formulate a new formula if it wanted to challenge the popularity of Perikatan Nasional under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, as a result of their effective control of the media and the COVID-19 outbreak.

"In general, it is true for me that Pakatan Harapan is in defensive mode, while Perikatan Nasional is having the upperhand now that they are providing information and maybe even aspects of winning the people's hearts with such policies and assistance," he added.

Meanwhile, Mohd Hisomuddin was of the view that naming Dr Mahathir as the Mentor Minister in the Pakatan Harapan cabinet was a good choice.

He said the experience of the Langkawi MP for over 22 years as PM has helped Pakatan Harapan formulate policies that were appropriate.

"The idea is actually a transition of power from the previous Pakatan Harapan pledge which after Tun Dr Mahathir would hand over to Datuk Seri Anwar.

"So, in the process of mentoring, which is said to provide guidance, and for me the guidance needed is from Dr Mahathir's experience in dealing with the government in the post-pandemic situation, which is a great obstacle to me.

"So, the mentor is probably based on his experience and can provide good ideas, sets and theories to be adopted by the Pakatan Harapan to take over the government," he added.