KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today presented Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) as representative of non-partisan Malaysians driven to action out of love for the country.
The Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) chairman said GTA is “not an ordinary political party” but a “movement of people who usually have no say in politics”.
“There is no ideology for them apart from love for the nation,” he said in a statement.
“They found that there is not a single political party that meets the needs of the country. They believe that supporting the existing parties does not produce a government that is able to contribute to the stability and success of the country,” he added.
Naysayers have described GTA as a hodgepodge group whose main aim is to divide the country’s Malay Muslim demographic group in the coming general election.
But Dr Mahathir insists his new platform is meant to unite the voiceless.
He also claimed that while GTA members also include certain political parties, they would willingly set aside their partisan struggles for the sake of the nation.
The 97-year-old asserted that many Malaysians have chosen not to involve themselves in politics as they were disillusioned with the current political situation.
He warned that this could backfire on the country in the 15th general election. “Many will not vote. Unfortunately because they did not vote, the victory will be obtained by the party they rejected.
“Among those who will win is the corrupt party that bribes voters. With that, the country will experience a worse position than before the general election,” he predicted.
Dr Mahathir said ordinary political parties are not suitable to lead, which is why he formed GTA.
“What is needed is a people's movement that unites those who have no party. They need to be united in a movement of lovers of the country who adhere to the supremacy of the law and the progress of the country.
“GTA represents this group. GTA leaders and members are clean of all crimes and have no personal interests.
“By mobilising people who love the country and contesting in the 15th general election the people will have a choice other than the usual political parties,” the Langkawi MP said.
Dr Mahathir also reiterated that GTA will field candidates in GE15 and that they will include members of NGOs, academics and professionals.
“God willing, with the support of all lovers of the country, GTA will succeed in GE15 and establish a government that adheres to the supremacy of the law, the Constitution and the well-being of the people and the country,” he added.
The two-time former PM established GTA last month and is reported to be waiting for it to be registered as a political entity that would enable it to field election candidates under its own banner.
GTA submitted the application for the coalition’s logo and registration to the Registrar of Societies on September 6.
Currently there are four political parties in the movement — Pejuang, Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra), Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) and the Parti Perikatan India Muslim Nasional (Iman).