On Thursday (4 August), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced the establishment of a Malay-Muslim coalition dubbed “Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA)” which is aimed at empowering the Malay community, especially in terms of economy.
According to Malay Mail, Mahathir said the move was necessary to reunite Malays and defend the country from a worsening political climate.
“We will use this Malay-led movement to go against the current Malay-led Umno party during the next general election. To successfully go against Umno, we must have a political group made up of other Malays; otherwise, it will not succeed.”
“Our coalition is made up of Malays and Bumiputeras, but we will fight for all Malaysians,” he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Mahathir also said that the objective of the movement is not to rob others of their rights, but to support the future of Malays, especially the poor who have suffered due to the incompetence of corrupt leaders.
“We don’t want to be a new party. New parties that don’t have enough supporters are weak and fall apart,” he said.
“GTA will convey the message that the fate of the Malays is in their hands. The Malays must choose whether to remain marginalised and backward led by Malay leaders who are corrupt, have no integrity, have problems with morality, or choose a new Malay leader who is really clean, efficient, and trustworthy.
“These leaders must be among those who have proven to be successful or have the ability to lead the country to make Malaysia a developed country and be an example to other countries,” the new coalition’s chairman said.
The coalition would comprise Pejuang, Parti Perikatan India Muslim Nasional (Iman), Parti Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) and Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra).
What Malaysians had to say?
The announcement of the new coalition did not went well among Malaysians with many pointing out that movement just is racially motivated political move.
Among them who repudiated the coalition is Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as he points out that the all-Malay-Muslim coalition led by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad adds little to no value in addressing corruption within the political system as well as in tackling corrupt leaders running rampant in the country.
“I do not support this initiative, because if he really wanted to defend Muslims and Malays, he had over 22 months to do so. He could have helped.”
“But the Malays who were chosen did not actually represent Malay sentiments.”
“I think the Malays should now realise that the problem in this country is leaders, whether Malay or non-Malay, who are corrupt, out to enrich their children and their families and then, when they are desperate, they plead for the support of the Malays or their respective races,” he said.
Never ending story.. always about religion and race. Tired of this politics. 🙄🤯Can we move on onto saving us as Malaysians instead? I will certainly reject this kind of political parties. https://t.co/Q75KwZCX03— Siti Kasim (@sitikasim) August 4, 2022
On social media, lawyer and social activist, Siti Kasim slammed the former premier and said, “Never ending story.. always about religion and race. Tired of this politics. Can we move on to saving ourselves as Malaysians instead? I will certainly reject this kind of political party.”
On the other hand, some netizens poke fun at name of the coalition, saying that it resembles the series of action-adventure games Grand Thief Auto (GTA).
“Gerakan Tanah Air? GTA for short? And Dr M was the 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia, so GTA 7 confirmed?” a netizen jokingly said.
“Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA)! Did he get the idea from Grand Theft Auto?” another netizen asked.
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