World

Mahathir calls new party 'Pejuang', meaning warrior

PETALING JAYA: Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad said his new Malay-based party will be called Pejuang, which means warrior or fighter in Malay.

He announced the name of the new party on his popular blog Chedet yesterday via a Malay poem, which claimed that the party he co-founded in 2016, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), has been hijacked to save kleptocrats.

"Corruption destroys our race and corruption destroys the Malays.

"If you want positions and money, choose another party. If you want to redeem your dignity and defend our rights, choose our party, choose Pejuang," said Dr Mahathir, who turned 95 last month.

Dr Mahathir resigned as prime minster in February and a new government was formed with a razor-thin majority in Parliament.

SCANDAL-TAINTED

He was replaced by Mr Muhyiddin Yassin, once his close associate, with the backing of the Bersatu party and two others representing Malays - the scandal-tainted United Malays National Organisation (Umno) and PAS.

Dr Mahathir announced the formation of the new Malay-based party following the High Court's decision to strike out a suit by him and others over the nullification of their Bersatu memberships last Friday.

The new party will include at least five former Bersatu MPs, including himself.

In a separate development, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said yesterday Malaysia's majority Malay ethnic group must secure a dominant position in new national elections to ensure political stability in the country.

He said fresh polls were needed to increase Malay representation in Parliament and legitimise the ruling Perikatan Nasional coalition's claim to power.

"To ensure political stability, it is important to have the race that dominates society to lead the government," Mr Abdul Hadi said.

He said coalition parties would continue backing Mr Muhyiddin's leadership and nominate him as their prime ministerial candidate.

He predicted polls would take place sometime towards the end of this year and early next year. - THE STAR, REUTERS

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