Formal application soon by Mahathir's new party

The founding members of the yet unnamed party are (from left) former Umno branch leader Kamarul Azman Habibur Rahman; former Umno member Anina Saadudin; former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin; Dr Mahathir; former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Ma
The founding members of the yet unnamed party are (from left) former Umno branch leader Kamarul Azman Habibur Rahman; former Umno member Anina Saadudin; former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin; Dr Mahathir; former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir; Mr Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi, the son of an Umno veteran; and political activist Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF MUHYIDDIN YASSIN

Party's name and whether it will be aligned to opposition Pakatan Harapan not revealed

KUALA LUMPUR • Former Malaysian deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin will soon submit an application to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) for the formation of a new party that will include former premier Mahathir Mohamad.

Details such as the party's name, and whether it would align itself to the main opposition pact, Pakatan Harapan, were not revealed.

"A meeting on the new party held at Dr Mahathir's residence last night went smoothly. I will submit the application to ROS soon," Tan Sri Muhyiddin wrote on his Facebook page yesterday.

"Let's pray that the application will be approved. God willing, we will do the best for the people and the country."

He attached photos of the meeting, which was attended by Dr Mahathir, Mr Muhyiddin, former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir, and Mr Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi, the son of Umno veteran Sanusi Junid.

Others who attended were former Langkawi Umno women's wing member Anina Saadudin, political activist Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, and a former Umno branch leader from Negeri Sembilan, Mr Kamarul Azman Habibur Rahman.

When contacted, Mr Syed Saddiq said the seven people in the photos, including himself, will be the founding members of the party.

"There has been a consensus among us to set up the party and submit its registration forms to ROS. That is what we can disclose, for now," he said.

The party's name will be unveiled only after it has been approved by the Registrar, he added.

Dr Mahathir, Mr Muhyiddin and Datuk Seri Mukhriz are among the strongest critics of Prime Minister Najib Razak in the financial scandal involving troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Leaders from Pakatan Harapan have said they are willing to work with the new party.

Parties formed by former Umno leaders have a mixed history. Parti Negara lasted less than a decade in the 1960s, and Semangat 46 lasted for two general elections in the 1990s. On the other hand, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, led another former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim, today has 29 MPs in the 222-seat federal Parliament and is the lead party in Selangor, Malaysia's most industrialised state.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2016, with the headline 'Formal application soon by Mahathir's new party'. Print Edition | Subscribe