Published 19 Jul 2016, 3:00 pm Updated 19 Jul 2016, 3:11 pm
The latest twist to the Malaysian political landscape is the announcement concerning the formation of a new party linked to former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
However, governance watchdog Kuasa is viewing this development with "great apprehension and concern".
Kuasa chief executive Praba Ganesan noted that the speculations and comments from those linked to the new party, including Mahathir, revolved around Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak stepping down, and not about the qualities and principles of the new entity they are proposing to the Malaysian people.
He believes this narrative made it easier for opponents to accuse Mahathir of just wanting to create a vehicle for this son, former Kedah mentri besar Mukhriz, to become prime minister.
"What is likely to happen when and if Najib is ousted, will the party cease to have a purpose? How will this party consolidate its powers relative to other players on the scene?
"If the foreseeable end goal of a party centres around one man, is the party serving the nation or serving its own interest?" he asked.
Praba said new parties, including those by ex-prime ministers, cannot be just about toppling the existing regime.
"New players have to present their ideology, policy positions, strategic thinking and vision for the nation.
"Not completely, since they are finding their footing, but enough to tell the rakyat what they are and what they are not.
"It is horrible to be referred to as the party of people who have been either sacked by Umno or displaced by national leaders and cannot join opposition parties due to historical acrimony," he added.
Praba said the new party should not become like the Malaysia Civil Liberties Movement, Parti Cinta Malaysia and State Reform Party, filled with good intentions but no substance, and only used as a platform to contest in elections.
He argued that new parties must be able to build through their members, and not just constantly line up veteran politicians on stages and on banners.
Specifically, he opined that at a practical level, if there is no ideological glue binding them, would the new party wilt if its leaders departed?