KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has now claimed that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is no longer the party’s chairman.
While Dr Mahathir had resigned from his position on Monday the party had rejected his resignation and convinced him to stay on, to which he agreed.
In an official announcement Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Marzuki Yahya said Dr Mahathir would remain as Bersatu chairperson.
However, Muhyiddin in a statement today ignored this fact and has now announced himself as the acting chairman.
He attributed his new role as being in accordance with Article 1.6.9 of the party’s constitution.
“According to Article 16.9 of Bersatu’s constitution, if the chairman quits or is sacked, then the president has to assume the role until an election is held to pick a new chairman.
“Bersatu has yet to hold an election to elect a new chairman. Therefore I, as the president, will be the acting chairman of Bersatu until an election is held soon,” Muhyiddin said.
His statement now contradicts that of the party’s secretary-general who had confirmed that Dr Mahathir has been reinstated as Bersatu chairman.
“After discussing today and considered by Tun, he has agreed to return as the chairman of Bersatu effective immediately,” Datuk Marzuki Yahya had said then.
He also added that the party’s Supreme Council had rejected Dr Mahathir’s resignation.
However, a source privy to Bersatu’s party developments said that Dr Mahathir cannot be helmed back as chairman, not even by its Supreme Council, claiming that the Council does not have the power to reinstate.
“Can’t use this because Article 16.9 of the party constitution does not allow that,” he said when asked to justify Marzuki’s previous statement.
Much speculation remains as to who will become Malaysia’s eighth prime minister, with Muhyiddin initially in the spotlight, as he has the support of a faction within his party, along with former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s block of independent MPs, Umno, PAS, MCA, MIC and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS).
However, Dr Mahathir as Bersatu chairman announced earlier this morning that he has sufficient numbers to become prime minister again, following a meeting with Pakatan Harapan.