KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran politician Datuk Ibrahim Ali is attempting to make a comeback by forming a new party to champion bumiputra and Muslim issues.
The party known as Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) will be led by the former Pasir Mas MP as its pro-tem president.
Former Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Khalid Yunus will serve as Putra’s pro-tem deputy president.
Membership to the new party will be open to all Muslims and bumiputra.
Ibrahim said an application to register the party was submitted to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) on Monday.
“Some parties are seen as fighting for liberalism, so people are reluctant to join them.
“The people want a party that is premised on fighting for race and religion,” Ibrahim, who is the founder of Malay rights group Perkasa, told a media conference here to announce the formation of the party.
In the last general election, Ibrahim lost his deposits contesting in four-cornered fights in the Pasir Mas parliamentary and Tendong state seats in Kelantan.
He said the decision to form Putra now would allow it enough time to prepare and build up strength for the next general election.
“Plus, (by-elections) can happen at any time,” he said.
Ibrahim said the party was open to cooperation with other political parties but would not be part of any coalition.
“We will not join any coalition but we might be open to form an electoral pact,” he said.
Ibrahim said he wanted to attract good quality members and leaders to join Putra.
He is targeting 500 members for each state constituency and 1,500 members for each parliamentary constituency.
Khalid, who was also present at the media conference, said he decided to come out of retirement as he could no longer keep quiet over the current state of affairs in the country.
“Pakatan promised to defend the Federal Constitution and uphold the rule of law, but I see that there are things being sidelined.
“The existing political parties, be it in the Government or the opposition, especially their leaders, are mute.
“Matters related to religion, rights and education are being trampled upon, so we cannot keep quiet and just be onlookers,” he said.