Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today reiterated that Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) will not enter into cooperation with Pakatan Harapan (PH) or the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) bloc and remain as a third force in the political landscape.
The Langkawi member of Parliament said the yet-to-be-registered political party did not want to be linked to “baggage” from other political parties.
“We want to be free (not associated with other political parties) so that the people will see Pejuang as a party that is against corruption. We want to gain support from the people because of our stand.
“When we are linked to any other party, of course, there is baggage. Their past will affect us.
“There are some people who are not happy with DAP, Amanah (Parti Amanah Negara) and Keadilan (PKR). We do not want to be affected by their past performance,” said Dr Mahathir, who was among the seven founding members of Pejuang.
Among those joining the press conference, conducted virtually, was his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz, who is also Jerlun MP.
Dr Mahathir was asked if PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was the reason why Pejuang refused to join forces with PH in the next election.
“We are not associated with (any) other party. We are not with PH nor are we with PN,” he said.
Nevertheless, he said, the party may enter into an understanding for the election with parties that championed the same struggles as Pejuang.
“That, however, will be done the last moment just before the election,” he said.
When asked which parties are likely to enter into such arrangement with Pejuang for the next polls, Dr Mahathir replied: “They are not from PH or from PN.
“There is one party from Sabah that is Warisan (Parti Warisan Sabah), which at this moment, has not aligned itself with any other party.
“There is also another party, which has not been registered, that is Muda (Malaysian United Democratic Alliance). They also share the same stand (with Pejuang).
“Having said that, we have not made any decision to work with them or any other party. We want to build up the strength of our party.”
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir has urged the Registrar of Societies (RoS) and the PN government to answer why Pejuang is yet to be officially registered as a political party.
Dr Mahathir said that the RoS has instead questioned Pejuang why it has been holding meetings as a political party despite being unregistered — even when the RoS itself cannot give any reason for still not registering it.
“We have the right, according to the law, as long as we comply with the conditions, we can be registered. If we cannot be registered, a reason must be given.
“If it is because you don’t want there to be an opposition party in the general election, so that the government party can win without competing? Let me know, let us know, as we have to inform our members,” he said.