Malaysian army veterans form political party to contest in next general election

PETALING JAYA: Veterans of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) have announced their plan to form a new political party and contest in the country’s next general election.

MAF Veterans Association president Sharuddin Omar said the veterans were in the midst of forming a party named Parti Kemakmuran Negara (National Prosperity Party).

“We have submitted our application to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) about two months ago and we hope that it will be approved before GE15 (the 15th General Election), “ said Mr Sharuddin at a media conference on Tuesday (May 4).

“We have identified 50 candidates to contest in GE15 and they comprise veterans from all three branches of the MAF, namely Royal Malaysian Air Force, Royal Malaysian Navy and Malaysian Army,” he said, according to Bernama.

Malaysia is currently under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, whose legitimacy has been an issue of debate, has promised to dissolve parliament once the pandemic is over.

READ: Prayers, visiting allowed in Malaysia during Hari Raya but restrictions will apply, says Ismail Sabri

In the Tuesday press conference, Mr Sharuddin said they would contest as independent members if the RoS does not approve their application to form the political party.

He said the main reason for the veterans to contest the elections is due to the government’s delay in resolving issues related to veterans, especially involving salary and pensions as well as other issues concerning the people.

“We will contest in areas with a high concentration of armed forces’ camps and where many veterans live,” he added.

It is believed to be the first time for the army veterans to form a political party in Malaysia.  

Mr Sharuddin hoped that the RoS would approve their application, adding that he believed there is no reason for rejection.

“We are fighting for good governance and we want our voices to be heard,” he was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.

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