Those who want to reclaim their dignity and protect their rights should “choose Pejuang”.
Today, in a rather unconventional manner, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced the name of his new party in a blog post that decried the betrayal of his former comrades in Bersatu, whom he alleged to have sold out for posts and money after it aligned itself with Umno and Barisan Nasional.
In the emotional pantun (poem) published on his blog chedet.cc, Dr Mahathir said Pejuang — Malay for fighter — was created to fight corruption.
“Parti Baharu – PEJUANG. Parti kami ditubuh kerana kesedaran. Rasuah menghancur bangsa. Rasuah yang hancur orang Melayu. Jika ingin dapat jawatan dan wang.
Pilih parti lain. Jika ingin tebus maruah. Jika ingin kekal hak kita. Pilih parti kami. Pilih PEJUANG,” Dr Mahathir posted on Twitter.
In English, Dr Mahathir is saying the party is formed out of a sense of awareness. He remarked that corruption had destroyed the Malays and those who were looking for positions and money should choose a different party.
However, he said those who wanted to reclaim their dignity and wanted to protect their rights, they should opt for “Pejuang”.
The statement was clearly aimed at Bersatu and Umno, the two parties he once led.
In the poem, Dr Mahathir took a swipe at his former party Bersatu.
“We formed a party to save ourselves. [Instead] our party was hijacked to save our foes,” the Langkawi MP wrote.
“That was Bersatu. Set up to destroy the kleptocrats. Now it’s changed to save the kleptocrats.
“For what? For posts and money,” he added.
Dr Mahathir said Bersatu was hijacked and strayed from its original aim because its leaders wanted position and money.
Bersatu’s struggle now is based on personal interest, he said.
“Because of position and money.
The original struggle was abandoned.
The new struggle is based on “what’s in it for me”.
Using politics for personal gain, he said, is what will ruin the Malay community.
“If there is one thing that will ruin the Malays.
“It is putting one’s personal interests first.”
At a press conference last week, Dr Mahathir had said that the basis of the “independent” party was to eliminate corruption and kleptocracy.
“This new party will not ally with any coalition, whether PN or PH.
“We wanted to work with PH, but we found some obstructions. We faced some problems with the different parties in PH.
“I don’t want to mention (who), but I think you all know,” he told a press conference on Aug 7.
He also said he hoped Pejuang could become “kingmaker” in the next general election.
But analysts said the new party could struggle to stand out in a crowded field.
Some have suggested that Pejuang is no more than a vehicle to feed the 95-year-old’s ego and personal ambitions.
Pejuang is expected to make its electoral debut in the Slim by-election and is scheduled to name a candidate for the Perak state seat tonight.