FORMER prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today announced the formation of a new party after the Kuala Lumpur High Court upheld his resignation from Bersatu, a party he founded just before the 2018 general election.
He said the new party will be focused on anti-kleptocratic practices and getting rid of bribery.
No name for the party has been announced but it “will be registered immediately”.
Should the Registrar of Societies not accept the application to form the party, Mahathir said it would be an immoral move by the current administration.
He called for the current government to be “brave enough” to allow the party to register, sharing that the temporary president is Mukhriz Mahathir, with Mahathir himself as the chairman.
“We will be contesting in the Slim elections as an independent candidate, but if we are able to get the party registered, we will contest under that party,” said Mahathir. However, the group has not decided yet about participating in the Sabah elections.
Mahathir also stated that it was not his intention to have many political parties, especially among Malays, but “we face an unusual problem.”
“Those that came before have lost their way, and are no longer following their original purpose,” said Mahathir.
He also noted that it was necessary to register a party, as now those no longer with Bersatu have to contest as independent candidates. This would lead to “ten different symbols in ten different constituencies, and this would make things difficult for voters.” The registration of a party would allow them to contest under a single symbol and flag.
“We also have most of the Bersatu grassroots members with us. They identify themselves as Parti Blackout at the moment, but they are with us,” said Mahathir.
He claimed that current prime minister and Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin has led Bersatu into forming a kleptocrat government.
“Bersatu was set up to oust the Najib Razak government, a kleptocratic government. However, after only two years, the party was hijacked, and is now working to revive a kleptocratic government,” he said.
He also noted that the party would look after the interests of non-Malays, “but it is not necessary for them to become members.”
“We have not decided whether we can have associate members or not. Although this is a Malay party, we are very conscious that this is a multiracial country, and we have to look into the problems faced by other races as well.
“We will be very fair to all the other races. But we feel that there are some problems with the Malays that need the attention of a Malay party,” said Mahathir.
When asked about whether the formation of this new party would mean he was breaking away from (PKR president) Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir said that “we are not breaking away from anybody.”
“We are just free from everybody,” he said.
On what would happen should party win seats, Mahathir responded that the party “may have some agreements with parties, or we may not.”
“But after the elections, we may join one group or the other. We are free, so we can make any decision to join with whichever party that we think would help carry out” the party’s objectives, said Mahathir.
On former finance minister Lim Guan Eng being arrested under MACC charges, Mahathir noted that while Lim has been charged, he has not been tried or found guilty.
“Lim is charged, not tried or found guilty. The treatment of people must be the same for everybody. Discrimination like that is not justice.”
“However, we are inclined to think the move to charge Lim is politically motivated,” he said. – Aug 7, 2020