Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today announced the forming of a new political party.

The 95-year-old Langkawi MP told a press conference this evening that the yet-to-be named party will not be aligned to either Pakatan Harapan or Perikatan Nasional.

According to Mahathir, the new party, which wil be referred to as "Bebas" for now, will be continue the struggle for the upliftment of the Malay race - something Bersatu, of which he was a chairman of, initially set out to do, but later strayed from, he said.

"Bersatu, which we started to topple the kleptocratic government of Najib Razak, has now been hijacked by the Bersatu president (Muhyiddin Yassin).

"Now Bersatu's struggle has veered from toppling the kleptocratic regime, to reviving it," he alleged.

Despite the "hijacking", there are still Bersatu members who are still holding on to the party's original struggle and it is those people he hopes to attract into his new party, Mahathir added.

"This new party will be inclusive and moderate and show the non-Malays that the Malays hold on to their premises, and will not reject since, principled cooperation.

"We will also ensure that Malaysians of all races will be treated fairly."

The two-time prime minister stressed that the new party will not be aligned to either Harapan or the ruling coalition Perikatan Nasional.

Instead, its struggle will be based on fighting corruption and kleptocracy, he said.

Mahathir co-founded Bersatu in 2016, but their memberships, along with that of several others, were nullified earlier this year, following the political crisis which befell the country, which saw Muhyiddin taking over the reign as the premier.

Mahathir and the others had filed a challenge against the nullification of their membership, but earlier today, the Kuala Lumpur High Court struck out the suit, saying the plaintiffs had no locus standi to bring legal action against the defendants.

Photo source: Astro Awani.