Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has announced the formation of a new 'independent' Malay-based political party
In a press conference today, 7 August, Dr Mahathir said the yet-to-be-named party would be referred to as 'Bebas' for now and will not be tied to Pakatan Harapan (PH) or Perikatan Nasional (PN).
"This Malay-based party will be an independent party and will uphold the initial struggle of fighting against corruption which Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) had hijacked," the 95-year-old said, as quoted by The Star.
He said the new party will be inclusive and moderate, and would prove to the other races that the Malay people are honourable and not traitorous.
The party will temporarily be headed by Dr Mahathir as chairperson, while his son Mukhriz Mahathir will be its president
Dr Mahathir said the formation of the new party does not mean he is breaking away from PH leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, reported Malaysiakini.
"We are not breaking away from anyone. We are freeing ourselves from everyone," he said, as he was flanked by his son and other former Bersatu leaders Marzuki Yahya, Kubang Pasu MP Amiruddin Hamzah, and Sri Gading MP Shahruddin Md Salleh at the press conference.
He added that the party intends to contest in the pending Slim by-election.
The formation of this new party comes after Dr Mahathir, his son, and Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman among others were removed from Bersatu, which left PH in late February to join PN.
Syed Saddiq was not present at the press conference and was said to be attending his mother's retirement ceremony in Johor.
Previously, UMNO announced that the party is formally withdrawing from the PN coalition that is led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin: