KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and 12 other members quit Pejuang today.
In a letter issued to Pejuang secretary-general Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah, Dr Mahathir and the 12 other members said they made the decision after the party had cut ties with the Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition.
“Pejuang’s decision to sever ties with GTA has removed us from staying as members (of the party) when we continued the crusade with GTA.
“For us, the goal of GTA’s struggle is to unite Malay parties, non-governmental organisations (NGO) and also people of principle and adhere to the struggle to defend religion, nation and the country.
“Based on this, we choose to continue this battle through GTA,” they said in the letter posted on deputy president Datuk Marzuki Yahya’s Facebook page, who has also quit the party.
Former central executive council member Armin Baniaz Pahamin has also left the party.
Dr Mahathir formed Pejuang after breaking off from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in 2020, in the aftermath of the political turmoil that brought down the Pakatan Harapan government earlier that year.
In August last year, GTA’s establishment was announced by Dr Mahathir in August 2022 — during a period of intense speculation that GE15 would be held soon — and was promoted as a coalition aimed at helping the Malays, especially in terms of economic strength.
Post-GE15, on December 16, the 98-year-old veteran politician resigned as the Pejuang’s chairperson. Subsequently, the party had on January 14, called it quits with GTA.
GTA is now left with parties Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra), Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) and Parti Perikatan India Muslim Nasional (Iman).
In a report by Malaysiakini, Pejuang president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said the decision was made after taking into account the views of delegates in the party’s second general assembly following the party’s poor performance in GE15.
In GE15, all of 121 of GTA’s candidates lost their deposits including Dr Mahathir who failed to defend his Langkawi parliamentary seat and Mukhriz in Jerlun where he had been the MP since 2018.