Kuala Lumpur, Aug 7 | Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is expected to announce the formation of a new political party on Thursday evening, according to sources.
The new party will be registered as Parti Bersatu Rakyat Malaysia, a similar sounding name to his former party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), which expelled him in May, The Star Malaysia newspaper reported citing the sources as saying.
The sources said a press conference by the Mahathir and MPs who were former party members will be held at a hotel in the capital Kuala Lumpur where the details will be announced.
Aides to Mahathir, however, said that any press conference on the matter was yet to be confirmed.
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 favour, 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.
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.