JOHOR BARU, Feb 9 — Despite being a relatively new political party, Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) is confident that it has what it takes to make an impression in the upcoming Johor state election on March 12.

Johor Pejuang Leadership Council member Dr Zaini Abu Bakar said Pejuang may be seen as a third bloc political party, but it has its own advantages compared to more established political parties.

“Pejuang is a new political party, but we need to remember that its founder is a 97-year-old statesman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, someone who does not need to be introduced anymore and is known to have extensive experience.

“At the same time, we feel this is the right time for voters to decide which political party can lead the state with the upcoming Johor polls,” said Dr Zaini during a media session at the Johor Pejuang state office in 1Tebrau here today.


For the Johor state election, Pejuang reportedly wants to contest 42 seats out of a total of 56 that are up for grabs.

Dr Zaini, who is also the former Nusajaya assemblyman under the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) state administration, said voters who are unsure have a choice in Pejuang.

He said that Pejuang may be new, but it is a party with the strength of many experienced leaders.


“Pejuang needs to put in place a good strategy to enable the party to win all 42 state seats that are being contested.

“Our strength lies in having principled and high integrity members,” said the 62-year-old politician who operates several health clinics in the Iskandar Puteri area.

Dr Zaini said Pejuang is mainly recognised and associated with Dr Mahathir.

“Dr Mahathir is still relevant among the people of this country and we are confident that he still has significant support among the younger as well as older generation.

“His experience in being the country’s prime minister for 22 years and turning Malaysia into a developing country will definitely benefit Pejuang,” he said.

Dr Zaini, as a former state representative, hopes that he will be able to stand for election in his former constituency of Gelang Patah, which has now been redesignated as Kota Iskandar.

He said his last stint as an elected representative was in early 2018, just before the 14th general election (GE14).

“I then concentrated on my health clinics before I decided to return to serve the people by joining Pejuang in August last year.

“I have been away from politics for more than three years, but believe I still have the capability to be selected as a candidate by the party’s top leadership,” he said.

Yesterday, Pejuang president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir was reported to have said that the party would contest on its own and would field its candidates in 42 state seats which have a majority Malay electorate of more than 50 per cent.

Today, the EC set March 12 as polling day for the Johor state election. Nomination day is set for February 26, with early voting on March 8.