Malaysia ex-PM Mahathir launches new Malay movement, plans to contest 120 seats in next general election

PUTRAJAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Aug 4) launched a new Malay movement which aims to take on the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in the coming elections.   

The former prime minister of Malaysia said that Gerakan Tanah Air (Movement of the People) is planning to contest in 120 seats in Peninsula Malaysia. These will mainly be Malay majority seats.

“We are not being racial but this is an effort to fight against a party that swindles, that is UMNO,” said Dr Mahathir who is the movement’s chairman.

The four political parties in the movement are the National Indian Muslim Alliance Party (Iman), Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra), Parti Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia  (Berjasa) and Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang).

It will also include NGOs, academicians and individuals, said Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir, who is also the chairman of Pejuang, said that the movement is confident of winning the seats it would contest.

“We are hoping to get the support of the people, not because they are members of political parties but rather Malays who are concerned about their future,” he said.

He added that the majority of the poor people in Malaysia are Malays.

“This movement aims to solve the problems faced by the Malays. It is not about taking away anything from the non-Malays but rather to help Malays get their share,” he said, adding that wide income gaps between the rich and poor could cause instability in the country.

Dr Mahathir stated that he did not want to set up a new party as it would split the votes further. 

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