SHAH ALAM, Aug 7 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s new party will provide an effective platform for lawmakers seeking to “crossover” to Pakatan Harapan (PH) and bolster its chance to reclaim federal power without going through elections, said Amanah leader Khalid Samad.
The Opposition bloc needs just three more MPs to get a simple majority in Parliament. With a new political outfit, the two-time prime minister could make that possible, said Khalid Samad, a former minister and current MP for Shah Alam.
“Tun needs a party. With it he has a platform for MPs who seek to join PH,” Khalid said in an interview with Malay Mail.
“We just need three MPs to cross over — 109 versus their 113.”
A new party could give MPs reluctant to be a part of PH but are less inclined to support the Perikatan Nasional (PN)l administration the option to side with Dr Mahathir, the Amanah leader suggested.
There are still those in the PKR-DAP-Amanah coalition who feel the 95-year-old statesman can succeed where current Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim may fail — to muster the defections needed to form a new government.
“Maybe some MPs may not want to be with Anwar,” he said.
“And Tun still has the ability to influence (politicians). We know he still has huge influence among large segments of society.”
Amanah, a PAS splinter, together with the DAP, played a pivotal role in bringing Dr Mahathir and Anwar together.
The alliance of the two former archrivals helped galvanise voters’ anger that led to PH’s stunning victory over the scandal-plagued Barisan Nasional government in the 2018 general elections
But the alliance collapsed in a fall-out triggered by the ambiguity over Anwar’s succession plan.
Anwar’s faction claimed Dr Mahathir had refused to see through the pledge to make way for the PKR president to become prime minister, an allegation Dr Mahathir has repeatedly denied.
The friction eventually laid the ground for rogue members of Dr Mahathir’s former party Bersatu and PKR defectors to plot a backdoor move to oust the PH government.
Dr Mahathir and five other Bersatu MPs on Friday evening announced the formation of an “independent” Malay party which he said 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.
Dr Mahathir said his new political party will be fully independent and will not avow support to either the ruling PN or PH, his former coalition partners.
Instead, the yet-to-be-named outfit will be centred on fighting corruption and kleptocracy.