Gerakan Tanah Air will follow Dr Mahathir to his grave

(FMT) – Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA), the newly formed Malay-only coalition led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, will not last long, an analyst said, noting that the former prime minister was the only one who had a wealth of experience in the political arena.

Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) said GTA would only prevail as long as Mahathir was at the helm.

Fauzi also did not rule out the fact that GTA was established to ensure Mahathir, 97, remains relevant.

“I don’t see this (the setting up of GTA) as a subtle attempt by Mahathir to split the Malays, but more to remain politically active and respected in his twilight years,” he told FMT.

He said Pejuang, whose chairman is Mahathir, was bereft of leaders, experience and charisma.

“The gap between Mahathir and the other leaders in the coalition is too wide. And this means it will wither when Mahathir is no longer around,” he said.

Yesterday, Mahathir unveiled GTA which comprises Pejuang, Parti Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa), Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) and the National Indian Muslim Alliance Party (Iman).

It also consists of Malay NGOs, academics as well as professionals.

Mahathir said the movement was aimed at changing the government and going up against Umno in the next general election.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said the political parties in GTA did not have the influence which Mahathir wielded. Nor did they have huge support.

He said Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir and Putra president Ibrahim Ali would not be able to win over voters.

“Mahathir still has the presence, but the problem is he is with Pejuang, which has very little sway or none at all as evidenced in the Johor state election,” said Azmi, who previously stated that GTA was made up of “bit players”.

In March, Pejuang failed to win in any of the 42 seats it contested in the Johor polls.