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‘Agenda for a new Malaysia’: Mahathir touts trustworthiness, prosperity in coalition manifesto 

GTA also pledged to place key officers including the attorney-general, inspector-general of police and chief justice under parliament’s purview. 

‘Agenda for a new Malaysia’: Mahathir touts trustworthiness, prosperity in coalition manifesto 

Former prime minister and Pejuang chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad hits the campaign trail in Johor on Mar 3, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Rashvinjeet S Bedi)

KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) has promised to build a trustworthy nation comprising leaders and people who are clean from corruption, money politics and abuse of power, according to its 15th General Election (GE15) manifesto. 

During an online manifesto launch on Thursday night (Nov 10), GTA chairman Mahathir Mohamad said: “The main achievement indicator is to strengthen the element of separation of powers through legislative and structural improvements.” 

He added that key officers including the attorney general, inspector-general of police, chief justice and chief of the anti-corruption commission will be placed under parliament’s purview if GTA wins the elections.

Dr Mahathir elaborated that under the seven “agenda for a new Malaysia”, GTA is determined to reduce the economic gap between the people and ensure a fair distribution of development among the regions.

He said priority will be given to the empowerment of economic activities and dignified jobs especially for low income groups. 

Some of the other priorities listed in the coalition’s manifesto include providing wider access to higher education for the B40 (Bottom 40 per cent income group) and marginalised groups. He also said that GTA will ensure sustainable policies in good environmental management, especially in terms of addressing the floods issue. 

In the broadly worded manifesto which contained few specifics in terms of the policies, Dr Mahathir also promised to ensure that the cost for children and elderly care will be minimised with government support.

“We will not promise the moon and stars if we become the government. From past experience, we have found that when there are too many promises and the promises exceed the capability, it is almost certain that they will not be fulfilled,” said the former prime minister.  

Under the economic pillar of the manifesto, Dr Mahathir said that GTA is ready to reconsider the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). 

“This is because the costs outweigh the benefits and only a small group of big capital players get the benefit.

“The process of evaluating any international trade agreements should go through a comprehensive cost-benefit study, comprehensive public consultation and parliamentary oversight,” he said. 

Putrajaya ratified the CPTPP in September this year.

In GE15, Dr Mahathir, 97, will defend his Langkawi seat. His son Mukhriz Mahathir will again contest in Jerlun, Kedah while Mr Amiruddin Hamzah, the secretary-general of Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), will defend the Kubang Pasu seat in Kedah. 

Back in 2018, Dr Mahathir, Mr Muhyiddin Yassin and Mr Anwar Ibrahim worked together to capture Putrajaya under the PH umbrella. At that time, Dr Mahathir had promised to hand over power to Mr Anwar. 

However, the PH administration collapsed 22 months later, due to infighting.

Dr Mahathir then founded Pejuang.

GTA, which was launched only in August, comprises four political parties including the National Indian Muslim Alliance Party (Iman), Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra), Parti Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) and Pejuang. It also includes NGOs, academicians and individuals.

As the Malay movement has yet to be registered, all candidates are running under the Pejuang banner except for Kelantan where its candidates will stand on a Putra ticket.

On Wednesday, Dr Mahathir admitted that GTA has not been well received in several constituencies as many voters do not really understand the movement.

“In Selangor, GTA’s chances are good, as evident from the support we get in certain areas. But we do not have many banners and flags because we do not have money,” he said, according to Bernama. 

Asked which seats GTA could win, the incumbent Langkawi Member of Parliament said: “We can win in many areas. Langkawi, my former constituency Kubang Pasu, Amiruddin’s current seat and Jerlun, which is held by Mukhriz.”

Among GTA's candidates include local celebrities Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri (Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan) and Eizlan Yusof (Sabak Bernam, Selangor), as well as road safety activist Lando Zawawi (Tanjung Karang, Selangor).

More than 21 million people will cast their ballots in Malaysia’s GE15 to elect 222 new members of the Lower House of parliament. 

The Election Commission has fixed the polling day on Nov 19 and nomination on Nov 5.

Source: CNA/nm(aw)

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