Dr Mahathir Mohamad's decades-long political career is riddled with twists and turns, the most significant being his decision to cross the political divide and become the leader of the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan.
However, an article published in the PAS organ Harakah Daily today does not discount the possibility of Malaysians witnessing another twist ahead of the next general election.
"Mahathir's final plan is perhaps to discuss his return to Umno," penned Alang Ibn Shukrimun in the article titled "Berfikir gaya Mahathir" (Thinking like Mahathir).
“If the party (Umno) can offer a good position for his son Mukhriz – a high post in the government – it would be sufficient to wipe out the present political conflict.
“Even the position of 'Deputy Prime Minister 2' would suffice. But if desperate, it would be enough to ask for a closure to all cases concerning him which are under investigation,” he added.
Alang believes that Mahathir would not want to be with a political coalition that could be defeated in the coming general election.
“He does not want his political career to end in a shameful manner. With PAS, he can never be a leader. So it is better for him to return to Umno,” he said.
The author believes that Umno, too, would be attracted to Mahathir's offer.
Such a move, he said, would provide Umno with an opportunity to vanquish Pakatan Harapan, which has "carried Mahathir too high, higher than (former opposition leader) Anwar (Ibrahim), Mat Sabu (Amanah president Mohamad Sabu) and (DAP veteran) Lim Kit Siang".
Mahathir's return to Umno, he pointed out, would place the Harapan parties in a conundrum to explain the situation to their supporters.
“It is not impossible that Mahathir decides to return to Umno before the general election. When playing with Mahathir, we must think far ahead... He is slick and full of tricks.
“... Don't be hasty in labelling this as nonsense. Everything makes sense in politics. What is important is not to be naive,” he added.
Earlier, Alang wrote of how he would have been branded “insane and naive” if he had suggested, a decade or two earlier, that Mahathir would be together with DAP and Kit Siang or Anwar.
He also noted how Mahathir had in the past left and rejoined Umno.
Conceding that the former premier is a master in the art of politics, the author also said that the 92-year-old politician managed to fool opposition leaders.
“Leaders who fought him in the past to the point of landing in prison, suffering a black eye and being clobbered by the FRU, are now kissing his feet.
“All his wrongdoings have been cleansed without the need for compensation. The pinnacle of his greatness is to fool his past adversaries into accepting him as PM again.
“However, his calculation was wrong. He thought his involvement in Harapan would weaken support for BN. But it appears to have strengthened BN.
“The socialists like PSM have rejected him... non-Muslims appear to be leaving DAP because of its decision to work with Mahathir... MCA is recovering.
“PAS remains firm with its Gagasan Sejahtera and does not want to be duped by Mahathir's plan or compromise on the importance of Islam,” he added.