KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has sarcastically said that he would like to form a new party, specifically meant for Malays who are keen to enrich themselves quickly.
He said the party should be named Parti AAD, or Parti Apa Aku Dapat - What Can I Get Party - following the split in his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
He was taking a dig at the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, whom Tun Dr Mahathir has accused of buying support by elevating MPs as full ministers, deputy ministers and heads of government-linked companies (GLCs).
Dr Mahathir in his popular blog on Friday (June 12) wrote that those who joined this proposed party would be appointed party officers, positions specifically created to fulfil the desire of those who wanted a better income.
"Invitation: Who hasn't got anything can make an application to be a member, president, deputy president, vice-president and among others, " he posted in his trademark sarcastic wit.
"Fees? No need, " he added.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin has a thin majority in the 222-seat Parliament, between 112 and 114 - with a minimum of 112 needed to control the House.
His majority hasn't been tested in Parliament, which has only sat once - to hear the Malaysian King's speech on May 18 - since PN came to power more than three months ago.
The House is expected to next sit between July 13 and 27.
The Bersatu party founded by Dr Mahathir and Mr Muhyiddin in 2016 is riven by division, with at least five MPs supporting the 94-year old former premier and more than 20 on Mr Muhyiddin's side. There have been rumours over defections to Dr Mahathir's side but this has been thwarted several times amid speculation of influence-buying.
An ally party of Dr Mahathir, Parti Warisan Sabah, this week claimed that PN has been trying to get its federal and state lawmakers to jump ship by promising them state or federal ministerial posts and appointments as heads of GLCs.
Dr Mahathir had claimed earlier that almost two-thirds of the MPs who support PM Muhyiddin were appointed as ministers and deputy ministers, while the rest were appointed as chairmen of GLCs and government institutions, including lawmakers he said were facing criminal charges in court.