Mahathir Mohamad, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, is expected to announce on Thursday evening the formation of a new political party, said sources. The party is set to be registered as Parti Bersatu Rakyat Malaysia, which sounds similar to the name of the party that expelled him May—Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).

According to sources, Mahathir and MPs who were formerly members of the PPBM, will hold a press conference at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur where more details about the new party will be divulged. However, Mahathir's aides said that any press conferences on the issue were yet to be confirmed.

Formation of A New Party

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad Wikimedia Commons

The sources also said that the announcement was entirely due to the decision by the High Court earlier in the day on the application by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and three others to strike out a suit by Mahathir and four other people. The High Court had accepted Muhyiddin's application to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Mahathir and four others over the revocation of their party membership.

On July 23, Mahathir had said that if the court decision was not in his favor, he would form a new party, The Star newspaper reported. Mahathir had founded the PPBM in 2016 with Muhyiddin after the two fell out with then Prime Minister Najib Razak. Mahathir and Muhyiddin became PPBM's chairman and president, respectively.

Losing His Seat to Muhyiddin

PPBM later joined other opposition parties to form the Pakatan Harapan coalition and went on to win the general elections in 2018. Mahathir became the Prime Minister for the second time with Muhyiddin serving as the Home Minister.

Mahathir resigned as the Prime Minister in February. Muhyiddin led PPBM to leave Pakatan Harapan, causing the coalition's majority in the lower house of parliament to collapse. Muhyiddin then joined hands with parties that were defeated in the 2018 elections. He was sworn in as Prime Minister on March 1.

(With inputs from agencies)