Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad announced today that he would form a new political party.
Speaking to the press this afternoon, accompanied by his son Mukhriz Mahathir, the 95-year-old said he has not officially registered the party but expects to do so as soon as possible. He also neither revealed the name of the party nor who the members will be, but said that Mukhriz would be the party’s president.
“This new party will be inclusive and moderate. We believe that all Malaysians deserve equal treatment. We will not be tied to other political coalitions, that is Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan,” Mahathir said, referring to the name of the current government and the former government he had led after winning the 2018 general elections.
He also said that the new party will contest the next elections independently. Later in the day, Mahathir tweeted a photo of himself and five others, all dressed in blue. They include Mukhriz, former education minister Maszlee Malik, and former deputy finance minister Amiruddin Hamzah.
Perjuangan kami berasas semangat, bukan duit. Asas perjuangan kami masih dengan menghapus rasuah dan kleptokrasi. pic.twitter.com/xeepMXHqBt
— Dr Mahathir Mohamad (@chedetofficial) August 7, 2020
The decision to form a new party was in response to the ouster from The Malaysian United Indigenous Party, or Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, earlier this year.
Mahathir formed the “Bersatu” party in 2016 and led the Pakatan Harapan coalition into victory in the 2018 general elections. He then stepped down as the party’s chairman and also resigned as prime minister in February after complicated realignment among party members caused his government to collapse.
During today’s press conference, Mahathir recognized that there are several existing Malay political parties, but said that those have become self-serving over the years, and forgotten their main purpose, which was to serve the people. The other parties are the United Malays National Organization and the Malaysian Islamic Party.
Mahathir remained a party member until he was ousted from office in May after showing support for the opposition in parliament.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and three others struck out a suit brought by Mahathir and five others for nullifying party memberships.
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