Dr Mahathir announces new ‘independent’ Malay party, claims Bersatu deviated from original struggle

Dr Mahathir said the party, which has yet to be named, would be referred to as 'Bebas' for now. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Dr Mahathir said the party, which has yet to be named, would be referred to as 'Bebas' for now. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today announced the formation of an “independent’ Malay party which would uphold Bersatu’s original struggle.

This would be the second Malay-based party that Dr Mahathir has formed after quitting Umno in 2016 and forming Bersatu the same year.

In a press conference today, the former prime minister said the formation of the new party was important to provide a platform for Malays who are unhappy with Bersatu for joining forces with Umno.

Dr Mahathir said Bersatu, under chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, has deviated from the party’s original struggle, which is to combat corruption and the “kleptocratic” Umno led administration under then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“The political party that we originally formed which is Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia with the goal of fighting and removing the kleptocratic government of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, has been hijacked. 

“This new party will be based on the struggle for the Malays and the Pribumi. This is because, Pribumi-based parties that exist today have demeaned the dignity of the race, religion and country,’’ he said.

Dr Mahathir said the party, which has yet to be named, would be referred to as “Bebas” for now.

He stressed that members of the newly formed party must uphold its principles to fight against corruption and kleptocracy.

He said the party will be Bumiputera-based, but gave an assurance that it will also uphold the rights of non-Bumiputeras.

Dr Mahathir said the forming of a new party was necessary after the High Court ruled against him and dismissed his lawsuit against Muhyiddin who terminated the Bersatu membership of his camp.

The 95-year-old who co-founded Bersatu was sacked on May 28 alongside four other MPs — his son and Jerlun MP Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Kubang Pasu MP Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik — for not sitting with the Perikatan Nasional government led by Muhyiddin Yassin in the May 18 Parliament

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