Dr Mahathir Mohamad today announced that his Pejuang outfit had succeeded in registering as a political party, thanking the government for approving its application.
“We believe our way was not to cause trouble,” he said at a press conference today.
“We did things by the book. There was no reason why we could not register.”
Pejuang was formed by Mahathir and a handful of other MPs after their sacking from Bersatu in May last year.
The former prime minister also offered his bloc’s “non-political” solution to the pandemic, saying Pejuang planned to table a motion for the setting up of a National Recovery Council.
Adding that the National Recovery Plan had failed, he said Pejuang had a framework in place to solve the problems of the people.
“We are only interested in proposing a special body to be known as Majlis Pemulihan Negara, which will deal with the current problems of this Covid-19 crisis such as the number of deaths and suicides, which have an effect on the economy and security.
“We are not interested in politics,” he said.
He said the council would comprise only professionals and experts who have experience in handling a crisis such as Covid-19, adding that no politicians would be involved.
Mahathir said he hoped the government would approve the idea and establish the council without delay.
“If they don’t approve, then we will have to try on our own. Lots of people are going to die (of Covid-19) if the government doesn’t approve.”
He said Perikatan Nasional should not be concerned about implementing the proposal for fear that it would make Pejuang popular.
“We are not interested in being popular or not. We are interested in putting a stop or reducing the number of new cases that are happening every day,” he said.
Mahathir said the government had done well in the early stages of the pandemic, but that things had taken a downturn after the Sabah state election last September.
“This government needs to support a body that is professional, that is not interested in the politics of these things. We are interested only in reducing the number of new infections. That is all our intention and I hope the government will not sabotage it by refusing to give money or to allow things to be done.”
Mahathir also questioned the attorney-general’s view that the decision announced by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for the party to retract its support for Muhyiddin Yassin would not affect the prime minister’s position.
Going by that explanation, he said, Muhyiddin as the president of Bersatu had once brought the party out of the previous government.