DESPITE his coalition losing out during the national polls and he himself failing to defend his Langkawi seat, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the fight for the Malays and Muslims is still valid.
In a statement today, Mahathir thanked the 4,566 voters who voted for him to retain the federal Langkawi seat in Kedah during last Saturday’s (Nov 19) 15th General Elections (GE15).
Saying he had no idea who voted for him as votes are secret, he decided to thank them in an open letter for “bravely” casting their ballots for him.
Mahathir added that he was honoured by the “strength, bravery and rejection of corruption” by all those who voted for him, his Pejuang party and Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition, which comprises largely Malay and Bumiputera voices.
“Be confident that despite us not being large in numbers, it does not mean our fight is not valid,” the GTA and Pejuang chairman said.
“Why, it is because we hold firm to the principles of our struggle that we are sometimes sidelined.”
He added: “I hope that you all are not too sad or have lost your spirit to continue our fight for our race, our religion and our homeland.”
Despite touting itself as the best bet for the community, Mahathir’s GTA, which was only recently formed, failed to garner the popular Malay/Muslim vote during GE15, instead losing out to PAS, which is now the most dominant party for Malay and Muslim voters.
The Islamist party bagged 44 federal seats during the national polls – the most any single political party garnered and among the four PN component parties too – while UMNO and its splinter party Bersatu, the once go-to parties for the Malays and Muslims, both did rather poorly comparatively (PAS: 44 seats/UMNO: 26/Bersatu: 28).
GTA, on the other hand, saw a disastrous performance during its maiden electoral outing, winning not even one of the 125 seats it contested during GE15.
Mahathir himself lost his Langkawi seat and RM10,000 deposit, a shocking development for the two-time former prime minister and popular nonagenarian who has long touted a return to the political limelight ever since he stepped down as PM in March 2020.
Earlier this week, the 97-year-old said he would now focus on writing about the history and activities of the country, a likely indication that he is finally taking a backstep on politics and wanting to govern once more. – Nov 26, 2022
Main photo credit: Suara Merdeka