- Advertisement -

Mahathir announces new Malay alliance to go head-to-head with Umno

He says the Gerakan Tanah Air movement is geared towards those who are concerned about the future of the country.

Nur Hasliza Mohd Salleh
2 minute read
Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks at a press conference in Putrajaya today.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks at a press conference in Putrajaya today.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad today announced a new political alliance focused on the Malay-Muslim agenda, dubbed "Gerakan Tanah Air". 

The Pejuang chairman said the pact would only involve Malay members including political parties, academics, NGOs and professionals. 

"We have only invited Malays, not because of racism, but because our efforts are focused on opposing Umno, the Malay party that has gone astray," he said at a press conference in Putrajaya today. 

"If we are not a Malay party, the Malays will not support us."

Voicing hope that the alliance would receive the support of the people, he said this did not necessarily mean joining up as a member. 

"It's more towards those who are worried about the future of our country," he said. 

The former prime minister said Gerakan Tanah Air had already been joined by four Malay-based parties: Pejuang, Putra, Berjasa and Iman. 

He said the movement would also work to reduce the poverty gap among the Malays. 

He said the gap between the urban Malays and those in the rural areas was significant and must be addressed to prevent political imbalance or rebellion. 

"This is why we formed a Malay movement, so that they can resolve the problems that they face, and work to get their share in this multiracial country," he added. 

However, Mahathir said this did not mean that the Malays would usurp the rights of the non-Malays. 

On the contrary, he said, it was an attempt to correct the position of the Malays in their own country.  

Gerakan Tanah Air is expected to submit its registration documents and constitution to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) as soon as possible. 

Mahathir said he hoped the RoS would be generous in considering the application. 

He said the movement would contest 120 seats at the 15th general election, targeting areas in the peninsula which it was confident of winning. 

When asked if the alliance would allow the participation of other Malay political groups, Mahathir said it would not get involved with any party embroiled in corruption or the court cluster, a reference to Umno leaders facing criminal charges. 

"Those who are with us have no corruption cases," he added.