Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s new Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) has submitted its application to register as a political party, a move that it hopes will bring it one step closer to becoming a kingmaker in the next general election.
The application was made yesterday at the Registrar of Societies’ (ROS) headquarters in Putrajaya.
“We hope ROS can approve our application as soon as possible so that we can take part in Malaysia’s democracy,” former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir, who is Tun Dr Mahathir’s son, told reporters.
Parti Pejuang Tanah Air means Homeland Warriors in English.
Dr Mahathir, who is Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, on Aug 7 announced that he was forming a new Malay-based party, which will add to the crowded political scene in Malaysia – especially that serving the Malay electorate.
This followed his split with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Muhyiddin Yassin, with whom he had founded Bersatu in 2016, when the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition collapsed in February this year. Tan Sri Muhyiddin, now Prime Minister, and some 40 other MPs had defected to form the Perikatan Nasional (PN) alliance.
Three Malay-based parties – Bersatu, Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) – are currently in the same bloc that forms the governing PN alliance.
If Pejuang can capture enough of the Malay vote in the next general election, two-time premier Mahathir will remain a major player, with Pejuang the power broker if votes are split evenly among the Malay electorate as they were in 2018. But first, Pejuang’s application has to be approved.
“(Pejuang’s) mission is to eradicate money politics, restore the dignity of the country and fight for the happiness of the people. We will not use money as bait. (We) just want to have the opportunity to find halal income,” Dr Mahathir said in a blogpost on chedet.cc yesterday.
He added that Bersatu was formed to overthrow a kleptocratic government but has now been “infected” as money “has been used” to make “frogs jump”.