KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is seeking to downplay the heavy Malay representation in Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) in an attempt to shore up support for the unregistered coalition that was formed recently.
Dr Mahathir, who is also Parti Pejuang Tanah Air chairman, today said the coalition’s Malay-centric movement does not mean those within GTA were racist or hostile to non-Malays in multiracial Malaysia.
He gave an assurance that the rights and business development of the non-Malays would not be infringed amid efforts to close the gap between the Malays and other ethnic groups as he courted voters ahead of the November 19 general election.
“Remember that Malaysia has been ruled by a government dominated by Malays since independence.
“Do not be afraid of Malays from GTA. We will accommodate other races in the administration.
“Malays from GTA will uphold the supremacy of the law and the separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judiciary,” he said in a statement posted on Facebook.
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.
The former two-time PM established GTA in August 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).