Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) president Ibrahim Ali today said that he too can be a prime minister candidate for Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition.
Speaking at the GTA candidates’ announcement event, he said the coalition of Malay-centric parties and NGOs is not short of leaders who can lead the government besides its chairperson, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Ibrahim, a former Pasir Mas MP, also refuted allegations that GTA was formed to further Mahathir’s personal agenda to become premier again.
“That is why I hope you (GTA candidates and members), when people ask if Tun (Mahathir) formed GTA because he wants to be a prime minister, then you should say ‘yes, if the situation forces him to, if the country continues to be in darkness and if there is no one else capable to save the nation’.
“(But) if not Tun, there are other leaders in GTA. Like Mukhriz Mahathir, who is his own son.
“And next in line after Mukhriz, there is Ibrahim Ali. Tun (Mahathir) used to say that if there are 10 Ibrahim Alis, then Malaysia will be safe,” he told the audience in Bangi.
The event saw GTA, which comprises political parties such as Pejuang, Putra, Berjasa, Iman and coalition of NGOs called Gabungan Bangsa, announcing the name of 113 candidates for the 15th general election (GE15).
Ibrahim’s remarks came as part of his speech, where he gave an elaborated response to claims that Mahathir wanted to use GTA as a platform to become prime minister for the third time.
He also threw shades at Pakatan Harapan chief Anwar Ibrahim, whose attempts to be a prime minister had not been successful until now.
“I am just a humble human being. My record is clean, with good morals and honourable.
“And my name is Ibrahim. Maybe the person whose father’s name is Ibrahim won’t be prime minister, but the person with the name Ibrahim will be,” he said in a jest.
Ibrahim first became an MP in 1986 when he won the Pasir Mas seat on BN’s ticket.
He retained the seat in the 1990 general election on the now-defunct Semangat 46 ticket but then lost it in 1995 to another Semangat 46 candidate after having rejoined BN.
He contested the seat again in 1999 under BN but lost to a PAS candidate. He returned to the seat after collaborating with PAS and won Pasir Mas on PAS’ ticket in 2004, and retained the seat in 2008, also on PAS ticket.
In the 13th and 14th general elections in 2013 and 2018, Ibrahim contested the seat again but as an independent candidate. He lost both times to PAS.
However, in the upcoming GE15, Ibrahim will be moving to Rantau Panjang, the first time he had ever left Pasir Mas since his political debut.
Meanwhile, during a presser after the event, Mahathir said GTA will field candidates for at least 120 parliamentary seats.
“We hope that we can win and form a government,” he told reporters when asked what is GTA’s expectation for GE15.
Asked further what would GTA do if they fell short in numbers, whether the coalition would consider forming cooperation with other coalitions, Mahathir said that it would be announced after the election.
Mahathir also stressed that GTA does not have a prime minister candidate for GE15 yet.
According to the Pejuang chairperson, such matters would only be discussed after they win and are able to form an administration.
“If we do not win, there is no use for us to have a PM candidate,” he added.
On the coalition’s manifesto, Mahathir said it will be revealed in the next couple of days. – Malaysiakini