The former Umno leader says his party Ikatan will contest in the 14th general election.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Umno leader Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzil said today his new party Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan) will one day be one of the biggest parties and will contest in the 14th general election.
But the former minister denied Ikatan, which aims to restore the “spirit of independence” to an “ailing Malaysia”, will lead a third force nor did he explain where it stands in the country’s political divide.
Kadir, 73, said his party will permanently be an issue-based party and expects to reach one-million membership mark in a year.
“It will be too soon for us to contest in the upcoming election… we will in the next. I am confident that we will be one of the leading parties in the near future,” he told reporters after the party’s official launch at Seri Kembangan here.
If this becomes a reality, Ikatan’s presence would help bolster opposition against the ruling Barisan Nasional but, at the same time, split the votes for the opposition.
Pakatan leaders have yet to comment on Kadir’s move to set up the new party.
Much of Ikatan’s ideology resembles the ideas propounded by NGO Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (Amanah), which Kadir helped to form .
Kadir said his party aims to pick up where the country’s founding fathers had left off in nation- building, with the immediate target being amending race relations.
When asked what is the difference between his party and the opposition which seemingly strives to fight for the same cause, the former Umno leader said Ikatan’s main struggle is to create a “Malaysian race”.
“There are a lot of multiracial parties out there but Ikatan is striving for a Malaysian race.”
The former federal minister left Umno after he came under media attack following his criticism that the Malay party was racist, corrupt and no longer adhered to its original struggle.
He was also supportive of the poll reform coalition Bersih and backed the group’s claim that the Malaysian election system is dirty, saying he was himself a witness to vote buying during his days in Umno.
He also said Ikatan was formed out of the need to combat widespread corruption in the government.