KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) is not holding elections to choose its president, deputy president, vice-presidents, supreme council members and division level leaders this year.
Its information chief Datuk Razali Idris said the party needs to hold its branch elections first, after having postponed its internal polls in May 2022 to prepare for the six state elections that was held last August, Utusan Malaysia reported today.
“One of the reasons we postponed the election is because we want to fix the branch first, especially after the 15th general election. For example, in Sabah we want to correct the reason why MPs left the party.
“So, we also want to hold a meeting later so that we can appoint new representatives, because in the past few months after the election, there are members coming in and out, that's why the branch level elections need to be held first,” he was quoted as saying.
He said many people who had speculated about the Bersatu elections did not understand the party’s structure.
“The fact is that there will be no election at the top leadership level of the party and divisions this year, the only election is at the branch level because we are postponing the election for up to 18 months, not within 18 months.
“So, to say there will be an election for the highest leadership position this year, it is not possible. If you want to know about the position of the president and so on, this is not the right time. After all, the one who wants to hold the elections in the near future is PAS, not Bersatu," he was quoted as saying.
Both PAS and Bersatu are component parties in the Perikatan Nasional coalition.
The Islamist PAS is scheduled to hold its party elections during its 69th muktamar in Shah Alam, Selangor from October 20 to 22.
Razali was responding to the news reports that Bersatu had planned to hold its internal polls after the twin by-elections for the Pulai parliamentary seat and Simpang Jeram state seat in Johor on September 9.
He said it is inappropriate to bring up talk of the party’s top leadership contests for now.
According to the Malay newspaper, Bersatu’s branch elections will be held closer to the end of 2023.
Bersatu’s top leadership has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after the August state elections in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu.
Utusan Malaysia had yesterday reported Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu denying the existence of two camps between its party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin who is officially Opposition leader in Parliament.
Today, Razali said there is no question of two camps in the party as Bersatu’s focus right now is fully on its branch and state level elections.