KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — 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).
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.