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Malaysia’s Mahathir, 95, to set up new political party

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad, 95, said here today (7th of August, 2020) he was setting up a new political party as he seeks to take on the government, months after he quit as premier and his administration collapsed.
Mahathir Mohammad, the world’s oldest leader until his resignation in February, first entered parliament as Member of Parliament in 1964 and had two stints as prime minister, totaling a quarter of a century.
But far from quietly retiring, the spry nonagenarian has continued to challenge the legitimacy of the leader who replaced him, and on Friday announced the new party.
Mahathir said the group, still unnamed, would be independent, champion the rights of the country’s Muslim majority and battle corruption.
“We will fight the parties involved in bribery and the stealing of money,” he told reporters at a press conference.
Mahathir said he will be chairman and the party would not be part of the current government or the opposition alliance of which he used to be a member.
Several other MPs also appeared with Mahathir at the announcement.
Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahatir Mohammad used to be a member of a party called Bersatu, which he set up to contest the 2018 election, but it split when Mahathir’s shaky coalition government collapsed.
The veteran politician was first premier from 1981 to 2003 but then launched a comeback ahead of the polls two years ago, to take on the corruption-mired regime of Najib Razak.
He led an opposition alliance to a shock victory and returned as prime minister.
But the government collapsed this year amid intense infighting over whether Anwar Ibrahim should become the next Prime Minister, and Mahathir resigned.
He sought to come back as prime minister but lost out to Muhyiddin Yassin, who now leads a coalition that includes Najib’s scandal-plagued party.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.