KUALA LUMPUR: With an aim of setting up a “good” and “clean” government, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) is ready to face the 15th General Election. To GTA, it doesn’t matter when the polls will be called.
The GTA chairman noted that the Malay-Muslim movement had been growing from strength to strength, adding that he was confident of its support from the Malays, who were concerned over the community’s problems and setbacks.
“I have met many Malay groups that are disappointed over what is happening in our country,” Dr Mahathir said in his keynote address at Parti Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia’s (Berjasa) annual assembly here yesterday.
He assured that non-Malays need not fear GTA.
“Even though our movement is limited to Malays only... the rule of Malays has given success to non-Malays as well,” the former prime minister said.
“This is what a good Malay administration is and I believe we are able to bring back to life a good Malay administration.”
GTA will only name its prime ministerial candidate after it has secured victory at GE15.
“This (talk of the prime ministerial candidacy) should not divide us. All those who are part of this movement should focus on the common goal – to establish a government that is good, honourable, which will not abuse power,” he said.
Later, Dr Mahathir told reporters that GTA would contest enough seats to form the next government.
“Whether it is early or late we are ready to contest,” he added.
Dr Mahathir said if GTA was to secure the highest number of seats but falls short of a majority, it would work with other parties to achieve more than 50%.
However, he said it was unlikely for any single party to command such a percentage of seats – not even Umno despite its good showing in the Johor and Malacca state polls.
He pointed out that the state elections were a mere “anomaly”.
“It is at general elections where the stakes are different,” he said.
On forming an alliance with Pakatan Harapan, he said GTA would not align itself with parties that had their own objectives.
“We are not thinking about parties, we are thinking about the people,” he said.
Sharing his personal take on when GE15 would be held, Dr Mahathir said it is unlikely to be called this year.
“The government is trying to find a slot when it will be well accepted by the people.
“At the moment, it has been rejected by the people,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wanted GE15 held this year because the Umno chief was facing several charges in court.
However, he said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was not “so keen” as he might want to stay on as premier for some time.
The Langkawi MP is also not expecting GE15 to be held before Budget 2023.
Besides Dr Mahathir’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, GTA comprises Parti Perikatan India Muslim Nasional (Iman), Berjasa and Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra).
It is also open to Malay participation from non-governmental organisations, individuals, academics and professional groups.
It was previously reported that GTA is eyeing some 120 seats in Peninsular Malaysia.