PUTRAJAYA, Aug 4 — A new Malay-Muslim-centric political coalition called Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) chaired by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was launched here today.

The move was deemed “necessary” by the Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) chairman to reunite Malays and defend the country from a worsening political climate.

“We will use this Malay-led movement to go against the current Malay-led Umno party during the next general election. To successfully go against Umno, we must have a political group made up of other Malays; otherwise, it will not succeed.

“Our coalition is made up of Malays and Bumiputeras, but we will fight for all Malaysians,” he said during a press conference.

The former prime minister added that the objective of the movement is not to rob others of their rights, but to support the future of Malays, especially the poor who have suffered due to the incompetence of corrupt leaders.

“We don’t want to be a new party. New parties that don’t have enough supporters are weak and fall apart,” he said, calling for further support from all Malays who are committed to a better future for the country.

“GTA will convey the message that the fate of the Malays is in their hands. The Malays must choose whether to remain marginalised and backward led by Malay leaders who are corrupt, have no integrity, have problems with morality, or choose a new Malay leader who is really clean, efficient, and trustworthy.

“These leaders must be among those who have proven to be successful or have the ability to lead the country to make Malaysia a developed country and be an example to other countries,” the new coalition’s chairman said.

He said that he hopes that Malaysians support the movement which will contest the 120 seats it believes it stands a chance to win, focusing on peninsular Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir added that he will not be contesting GE15.

Among the deputy presidents of the movement appointed are Parti Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) president Ustaz Zamani Ibrahim; Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) president Datuk Ibrahim Ali; Pejuang president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir; and National Indian Muslim Alliance Party (Iman) president Datuk Mohammed Mosin Abdul Razak.

The coalition will be a combination of not just politicians but Malay leaders from civil society groups, academics, community leaders, women, professionals, and the New Generation.