KUALA LUMPUR: An NGO has questioned the intentions of the “new party” being proposed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad and its objectives beyond wanting to see Najib Razak ousted as prime minister.
“What will happen when and if Najib is ousted, will the party cease to have a purpose?” Kuasa asked in a statement today.
Kuasa also questioned that if the foreseeable end goal of a party focussed on only one man, was the party serving the nation or serving its own interest.
“How will this new party consolidate its powers relative to other players on the scene?”
Kuasa is an NGO formed in 2014 and states its objective as wanting to empower groups, parties, individuals or politicians who want to become agents for change.
In its statement, Kuasa chief executive officer Praba Ganesan said new parties, even those set up by former prime ministers, could not just be centred around toppling a regime.
“They must work on substance and capacity building to win elections.”
Praba recalled similar initiatives in the past, with new parties set up, filled with good intentions but having no substance, for the sole reason of contesting in elections.
Referring to the Malaysia Civil Liberties Movement, Parti Cinta Malaysia and the State Reform Party (Star) as examples, he said the new party should not go down the same path.
“A new party should be able to build itself up through members, not just constantly lining up veteran politicians on stage and putting up banners.
“At a practical level, if there is no ideological glue binding them, will the party wilt if leaders depart?” he said, adding that there was “great apprehension and concern” over the new party being proposed.
So far, Praba noted, all the talk, speculation and comments from the individuals who would make up the new party, let alone Mahathir himself, had been about why Najib has to step down, and not about the qualities and principles of the new entity they were proposing.
“That’s why it’s convenient for opponents to accuse Mahathir of just wanting to create a vehicle for his son, former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir, to become prime minister.
“New players have to present their ideology, policy positions, strategic thinking and vision for the nation. At least enough to tell the rakyat what they are and what they are not,” he said.
Praba said if there was no proper information on the new party, then it risked taking on the alternative description of being referred to as the “party of people who have been either sacked by Umno or displaced by national leaders or cannot join Pakatan (Harapan) due to historical acrimony.”