Former Premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad today officially revealed that a new Opposition party was in the making and it will be part of the present Save Malaysia movement.
Besides the 91-year-old political juggernaut, at least three other big names have expressed interest in the proposed party.
They are former Umno leaders Muhyiddin Yassin, Mukhriz Mahathir and Shafie Apdal.
“We started off as a group (Save Malaysia), comprising political leaders, NGOs and individuals.
“We met several times and, today, after discussing for over three hours, have agreed to work together in an effort to defeat Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next General Election.
“There is a need for a new party to be formed to represent those who have the same objective,” said Mahathir at a press conference held at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here today.
The nation’s longest-serving former premier said while he did not plan to contest in the 2018 General Election, he “can” play the role of the new party’s leader.
However, he said it’s not necessarily, he will be the president of the party, or even be in the running for the role of a prime minister should they succeed in defeating BN.
“I will be the first among equals and one of the founding fathers.”
He said at the moment there had been no decision as to when the new party would be launched. He had also yet to decide if the party would be exclusively for Malays, or open to other races as well.
What is certain, however, is that it would cater to those who share the similar view that BN has done nothing but hurt the country.
When asked why the new party was necessary, Mahathir replied briefly that the existing Opposition parties may not appeal to some. He did not elaborate further.
The meeting today was attended by Pakatan Harapan and former Umno leaders, but several PKR top leaders, including Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Nurul Izzah Anwar, and Mohamed Azmin Ali were not seen.
Those present included Shafie, DAP Supremo Lim Kit Siang, Amanah Deputy President Salahuddin Ayub and PKR Vice-President Tian Chua.