Armada insists Dr Mahathir is still Bersatu chairman, calls for party polls

Yiswaree Palansamy
·4-min read
Dr Mahathir had yesterday disputed the recent RoS letter which affirmed his resignation as chairman of Bersatu. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Dr Mahathir had yesterday disputed the recent RoS letter which affirmed his resignation as chairman of Bersatu. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — The Youth wing of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) today insisted that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is still the rightful chairman of the party, and called for party polls to be held.

In a statement today, Armada also chastised the Bersatu leaders who had called for party members that had sat on the Opposition bench to be expelled from the party.

“Armada would like to refer to the official press release issued by Bersatu’s secretary-general on February 25, 2020. The statement clarifies that the supreme council of the Bersatu has unanimously rejected Tun Dr Mahathir’s resignation, and that his position as Bersatu chairman still stands.

“Armada recognises that the Bersatu chairman post is held by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and is in line with the decision of the supreme council of Bersatu.

“The individuals who made the statement to remove Tun Dr Mahathir from the party should not only dare to express their opinion, but they should interpret their stand by contesting in the Bersatu party election,” Armada said.

It also called for party members to reject the statement by the Registrar of Societies (Ros), that Dr Mahathir is no more the chairman of the party he founded, alleging bias by Bersatu’s secretary-general, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, who is the home minister, and who sides with Bersatu president and prime minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“It is well known that Ros is under the home minister, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, who is also Bersatu’s secretary-general who is not recognised by the party, and has a vested interest in this issue.

“The best solution in this chapter is to return the power to the grassroots to choose the future of the party, via a party election. The party polls must be hastened in the shortest time possible, to guarantee the continuity of Bersatu,” the statement further read.

Dr Mahathir had yesterday disputed the recent RoS letter which affirmed his resignation as chairman of Bersatu.

Through his lawyers Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, Dr Mahathir explained that even as he had resigned, he was announced as the party chairman after he won the party election uncontested.

Dr Mahathir is also contesting Datuk Marzuki Yahya’s removal as party secretary-general, to be replaced by Muhyiddin with Hamzah.

Haniff Khatri said the letter dated to May 5 and addressed to Bersatu’s working secretary Capt (Rtd) Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya, can instead be considered to more of the RoS’ point of view rather than a binding fact.

Although Haniff said there are no provisions under the RoS’ Societies Act 1966 which requires his client to provide any detailed response to its May 5 letter, he nonetheless acknowledged that under Section 3A of the Act, the RoS is authorised to generally observe and administer any organisation registered under it.

Dr Mahathir is also seeking an investigation by the RoS under Section 16(1) of the Act into the invalidity of Marzuki’s sacking as secretary-general and of Hamzah’s appointment, since both were done without his consultation.

Earlier today, Bersatu supreme council member Wan Saiful Wan Jan called for the removal of party members who sat among the Opposition bloc during Monday’s Parliament session, citing a breach of the party’s disciplinary rules.

He was quoted in a Malaysiakini report today as stressing the need for all party members to adhere to Bersatu’s regulations, explaining that sitting with the Opposition bloc equates to an offence under the party’s rules.

Wan Saiful, who is also the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) chairman, said Bersatu should not tolerate the existence of an ‘elite caste’ who have openly denounced the party’s regulations, adding this could develop into a cancerous culture that will eventually mean the end of Bersatu.

This comes in response to the two visible factions within Bersatu, that sees a majority of supreme council members and state party leaders backing Muhyiddin.

Another faction existing within the party consists of those behind Dr Mahathir, who among them include his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Youth wing chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, ousted secretary-general Marzuki, former education minister Maszlee Malik and former veteran newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

Wan Saiful, despite not naming any party colleagues who he thought should be sacked, was presumably referring to Dr Mahathir’s faction of Bersatu MPs who were seen seated among Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders on Monday’s Dewan Rakyat sitting.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Senator Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal had also taken to his Facebook on Tuesday, echoing Wan Saiful’s sentiments.

“Enough of this charade, Bersatu will move with Perikatan Nasional. Those who are still harping upon Pakatan Harapan must be taken action against them as per party’s constitution (Fasal 10.2.3) Their membership will automatically be revoked,” he posted.

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