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Dr Mahathir says his new party won’t be tied to any Malaysia’s ruling coalition

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad delivers his speech at the 22nd Annual General Meeting of the National Smallholders Farming Association in Ampang October 17, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8, 2020, Malay Mail. Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today declared that his new political party will be fully independent and will not avow support to either the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) or his former coalition partners Pakatan Harapan (PH), Malay Mail reported.

The former prime minister, who stepped down from office in February, said his “independent party” will be centred on fighting corruption and kleptocracy.

“Our new party will not be tied by any political coalition, be it Pakatan Harapan or Perikatan Nasional,’’ he told a news conference here.

While Dr Mahathir said he is willing to collaborate with PH, he mentioned difficulties working with the Opposition coalition’s largest party, without naming it directly.

“We found some obstruction. We wanted to work with PH but we have some problems with the biggest party in PH. That is why we are having a problem,’’ he replied a reporter.

However, he asserted that he still maintains a good relationship with Parti Warisan Sabah, led by Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

Dr Mahathir said his new party, which is yet unnamed, intends to contest in the Slim by-election on August 29. Nomination for the Perak state seat is on August 15 and Umno is expected to defend the constituency.

Dr Mahathir said his new party, dubbed “independent” for now, has yet to decide if it will run in the upcoming Sabah state election.

Among the former Bersatu members siding with Dr Mahathir present at today’s press conference were his son and Jerlun MP Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Kubang Pasu MP Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah, Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik and the party’s former secretary-general Datuk Marzuki Yahya.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, seen as a vocal supporter of Dr Mahathir, was absent.

Dr Mahathir also commented on today’s prosecution of Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng, who is accused of soliciting bribes from the contractor of the Penang undersea tunnel project.

Dr Mahathir said he hopes his former finance minister would be accorded a fair trial.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed hope for his new “independent” Malay party to be “kingmaker” in the next general election, Malay Mail reported.

Recalling his experience in 1969, when he lost the general election in Kota Star Selatan, Kedah, due to 5,000 non Malay votes split between him and his opponent, Dr Mahathir said: “We may not have enough (numbers) to form a government, but we can be a party that determines who will win.

“When there are two groups, we want t be the decider (of who will win),” he told an audience of 300 people mostly Parti Pribumi Bersatu (Bersatu) grassroot members, who gathered at Pullman Hotel, Bangsar here.

He said this when responding to a question asked on whether the new party will be able to survive on its own to champion the people’s plight.

In 1969 Dr Mahathir lost his parliamentary seat and left Umno in the same year.

Dr Mahathir also added that the party will remain “independent” and not “tied” to anyone.

“We want to be different from the rest. And to do this we need to be independent and not tied to anyone,” he said.

In his address to Bersatu grassroots and supporters, he also called out future members to join the party for the betterment of the country.

“I remember when I was leading Umno as president one of the party leaders came to me, said he didn’t gain anything in the last 20 year with the party.

“I asked him about his village and he said it’s good and that all the roads are tarred.

“I also asked him about his house, whether he has electricity and water, he said yes. And about his children, he said his son got a scholarship to study abroad.

“This kind of person, (even with all that) he said he didn’t get anything for himself. This is an example of a person who is only interested in self-interest and not the party’s struggle,” he said.

He said, the party does not welcome those who have no intentions to fight for the party.

When asked by a Sri Kandi member, whether she should leave the Bersatu, Dr Mahathir said the party wants to only accept those who are committed to uphold the party’s struggle.

“There are two kinds of political party. One like Umno, and Umno is a mass movement.

“The party does not have to be big, it just needs committed members,” he said.

He also drew comparison to DAP which he said is a niche party, it has specific ideals and goals, and those who join them are aligned to these ideals and goals.

Earlier today, Dr Mahathir who is also Langkawi MP declared that his new political party will be fully independent and will not avow support to either the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) or his former coalition partners Pakatan Harapan (PH).

The former prime minister, who stepped down from office in February, said his “independent party” will be centred on fighting corruption and kleptocracy.

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