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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed hope for his new “independent” Malay party to be “kingmaker” in the next general election.
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.