KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday (12 August) announced the name of his new political party — Pejuang, a Malay word for ‘warrior’ or ‘fighter’.
In a poem written in Malay, published on his personal blog today, Dr Mahathir criticised Bersatu, the party he co-founded and was recently ousted from.
He wrote that the party that was originally established to save Malaysia from kleptocracy and corruption has been ‘hijacked’ to “save our enemies” for the love of power and money.
Bersatu was formerly a part of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, which currently comprises the Democratic Action Party, People’s Justice Party (PKR), and National Trust Party (AMANAH).
Pakatan Harapan’s governance came to an abrupt stop when events following the “Sheraton Move” earlier this year saw Dr Mahathir’s then-right-hand man Muhyiddin Yassin taking the mantle of Prime Minister, following a power vacuum left by the former’s resignation from the post.
Bersatu is currently led by Muhyiddin. The party is now part of the Malay-centric Perikatan Nasional alliance with Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).
In his poem today, Dr Mahathir also took a jibe at an unspecified neighbouring country, asking if the Malays in the said country still have a ‘Malay state’.
“Selling [our] land is the same as selling [our] rights. Sooner or later, the country will also be sold. No more rights left. Malays will then perish. Whose fault will it be? Others? Choose,” he wrote.
He added that Pejuang was borne out of “awareness” of the destructive effects of corruption on Malays.
“If you seek positions and money. Choose another party. If you want to reclaim [your] dignity. If you want to preserve our rights. Choose our party. Choose PEJUANG,” concluded Dr Mahathir.