FRESH out of “retirement”, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has joined Datuk Ibrahim Ali-led Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) as its advisor.
This comes less than a month after the 98-year-old veteran politician had quit Pejuang, the party he founded in 2020 alongside 12 other party leaders following the party’s decision to withdraw from the Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition.
GTA, a loose coalition comprising Malay-based parties, non-government organisations (NGOs), academics and professionals, was founded by Dr Mahathir last year. Putra is still a member of GTA.
Putra deputy president Khalid Yunus said Dr Mahathir was given “No 1” as his membership number. “The number is usually held by the top leader, and it was previously held by Ibrahim as the president,” he was reported as saying by FMT.
“But he is willing to give it to Mahathir.”
In August last year, GTA’s establishment was announced by Dr Mahathir in August 2022 – during a period of intense speculation that the 15th general election (GE15) would be held soon – and was promoted as a coalition aimed at helping the Malays, especially in terms of economic strength.
Post-GE15, on December 16, Dr Mahathir resigned as the Pejuang’s chairperson. Subsequently, the party had on January 14, called it quits with GTA.
GTA is now left with parties Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra), Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) and Parti Perikatan India Muslim Nasional (Iman).
According to a report by Malaysiakini, Pejuang president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said the decision was made after taking into account the views of delegates in the party’s second general assembly following the party’s poor performance in GE15.
In GE15, all of 121 of GTA’s candidates lost their deposits including Dr Mahathir who failed to defend his Langkawi parliamentary seat. – March 1, 2023
Main pic credit: Bernama