Dr M: Pejuang has strayed from its original fight by leaving GTA

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Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Pejuang, the party headed by his son Mukhriz, has strayed from its original fight by leaving the Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition.

Mahathir, one of Pejuang’s founders, described such a move as a form of “rejection” of him, who is the GTA chairperson.

“Pejuang has rejected Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA), which means it has rejected me as well. I have been with GTA and Pejuang since back then.

“I see the direction of Pejuang is a bit different now. That is why I resigned and left Pejuang,” he said, as reported by Utusan Malaysia today.

Mahathir yesterday announced his departure from Pejuang along with 12 other members to continue their fight via GTA.

Among members who quit the party include former deputy president Marzuki Yahya and former central executive council member Armin Baniaz Pahamin.

Mukhriz, however, remains Pejuang’s president.

When asked what he plans to do next, Mahathir today said he wants to strengthen GTA and that they are ready to welcome anyone who is not involved in corruption and has the same ideology.

“If (other coalitions) want to cooperate, we can accept, we will accept anyone who is clean. So far, we have not accepted any requests from anyone yet,” he said.

Mahathir founded Pejuang in 2020 after he was sacked from Bersatu following the Sheraton Move political coup.

In August last year, Mahathir announced the establishment of GTA during the height of speculations that the 15th general election (GE15) would be held soon.

On Dec 16, the 98-year-old veteran politician resigned as the Pejuang chairperson.

A few days later on Dec 20, Mahathir loyalist Khairuddin Abu Hassan also resigned as the party’s central executive council (CEC) member and Federal Territories chief, citing a loss of confidence in Mukhriz as the president.

Pejuang, on Jan 14, called it quits with GTA.

GTA is a Malay rights coalition consisting of Berjasa, Putra, and Iman.

In GE15, Mahathir suffered a crushing defeat in the Langkawi parliamentary seat where he finished fourth in a five-cornered fight and lost his deposit.

Mukhriz suffered a similar fate, losing in Jerlun where he had been the MP since 2018, after Perikatan Nasional won the seat during the Nov 19 polling day with a 20,456-vote majority.

All other Pejuang candidates also lost their deposits in GE15. – Malaysiakini