PETALING JAYA - Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has appeared in a new video clad in a Bersih 5 T-shirt calling on Malaysians to participate in the rally by the electoral reform group set to take place on Saturday (Nov 19).
The massive rally, known as Bersih 5, is being held to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak over his alleged involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) saga.
"Malaysia is now in distress because the administration of Prime minister Najib has caused the country to incur billions of ringgit in debt, which cannot be paid by the government and state," Tun Dr Mahathir said, speaking in Malay, in the nearly two-minute long video.
"That is why we must show our dissatisfaction with the government through our participation in the rally by Bersih at Dataran Merdeka and at any other locations that have been announced."
"I hope all Malaysians will join this rally by Bersih because they are seeking to find a way to heal our country through changing the government," he added, in the video which made the rounds on social media on Wednesday (Nov 16).
Dr Mahathir, a fierce of critic of Datuk Seri Najib, had previously appeared at the Bersih 4 rally with his wife last year to show his support for the calls to oust Mr Najib, although at the time he was still a member of Umno, the biggest component of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Dr Mahathir quit Umno in February and announced in August the creation of a new opposition party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), of which he is the chairman.
Led by Dr Mahathir and ousted deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, it is also a splinter party made up mostly of ex-members of Umno.
Although Bersatu has not officially joined the Pakatan Harapan (PH) opposition coalition, Dr Mahathir, had at the PH convention last Saturday, called on its PH allies to work on avoiding multi-cornered fights at the next election to ensure one-to-one contests against the BN.
Last week Dr Mahathir was also seen donning a "Free Anwar" badge, in support of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, when attending the PH convention in Shah Alam.
Anwar is currently in jail for a controversial sodomy conviction.
Dr Mahathir's move to don the Anwar badge had raised eyebrows, given their past fraught relationship. Dr Mahathir had sacked Anwar in 1998 and the latter was first jailed during the Mahathir administration amid allegations of sodomy and corruption.
But the two appeared to have mended ties, with Dr Mahathir meeting Anwar in September in a move to put the past behind them.