Mahathir’s party will split Malays further, say Umno and PAS

The secretaries-general of Umno and PAS, Ahmad Maslan (left) and Takiyuddin Hassan.

PETALING JAYA: The Malay community will be further divided when a new political party is set up by former PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, two senior officials of Umno and PAS said today.

Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said the Malay community did not need another political party. “We have enough with Muafakat Nasional,” he said, referring to the alliance between Umno and PAS.

Ahmad’s counterpart in PAS, Takiyuddin Hassan, questioned Mahathir’s motive in setting up a new party, as Mahathir had often spoken before about the need to keep Malays united.

Takiyuddin said he expected that the Malays would continue to be split if Mahathir went ahead to set up another Malay-based political party, Bernama reported.

“I’m not sure what is the purpose. My experience with Tun, he has often raised the issue of Malays splitting up. He has supporters and the Malays will be increasingly divided,” he said in Kota Bharu.

Yesterday, Mahathir announced the formation of a new party that is not aligned to either Pakatan Harapan or the Perikatan Nasional. The new party, which is yet to be named, would have the same basis of struggle as PPBM which he co-founded, to fight corruption and kleptocracy.

Ahmad Maslan was quoted by NST Online as saying that Mahathir’s decision would further shrink the Malay community’s political power.

He remarked that the Malays did not need more political parties to represent them, as Muafakat Nasional was enough to lift and fight for the community’s rights.

“The Malays will be further weakened if they continue to be divided. The Malay community would lose out in politics and economy. I urge the Malays to continue backing MN in the interest of race, religion, country and people,” he said.

Mahathir is expected to be chairman of the new party, with his son Mukhriz as president.