KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) youth wing today insisted on backing Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be the prime minister of Malaysia, claiming that the party leadership had not fully endorsed an announcement yesterday by 36 PPBM MPs to back Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as PM candidate.
The PPBM Youth wing, better known as Armada, said it would continue to support the party’s supreme council’s decision in its latest meeting on February 24 to support Dr Mahathir as the candidate for Malaysia’s prime minister.
“The decision from the discussion of Members of Parliament yesterday morning cannot reflect the party’s stand as long as it does not get the mandate of all members of the Supreme Council,” Armada’s vice-chief Aizad Roslan wrote in a statement that was posted on Armada’s official Facebook page.
“Once again, Armada Bersatu Malaysia is firm with its stand to not work together with individuals that are implicated in corruption scandals and are facing trial,” Aizad also wrote.
He urged full support for Dr Mahathir as PPBM chairman, asserting that PPBM will continue to be a “Malay party with dignity” for the sake of religion, race and country.
On February 24, PPBM’s supreme council had decided that the party including its MPs would support Dr Mahathir as the prime minister.
Just hours after PPBM MPs nominated Muhyiddin, PPBM supreme council member Datuk A. Kadir Jasin yesterday disputed the nomination while pointing out that the council’s last decision was on February 24 and to support Dr Mahathir to remain as prime minister.
Separately, Armada chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman who is also Muar MP meanwhile posted early today on his official Facebook page a brief hashtag stating “#HidupBermaruah”, which translates to living with dignity.
Syed Saddiq this morning also posted a brief video clip on Twitter and Facebook, where he stated that he would never work together with the corrupt to form government and stressing the importance of integrity and living with dignity.
The Pakatan Harapan coalition, which PPBM was once part of until its pullout on Monday, has 92 MPs and has endorsed PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be the next prime minister of Malaysia.
PPBM, which initially had 26 MPs, yesterday garnered 10 MPs after accepting former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s faction into its fold and yesterday announced that its 36 MPs were nominating PPBM president Muhyiddin to be prime minister.
With PPBM’s 36 MPs, Barisan Nasional’s 42 MPs, PAS’ 18 MPs and one MP from PBRS, Muhyiddin currently has a slight edge over Anwar with a total tally of 97 MPs backing him.
Umno, which is part of BN and contributes a sizeable chunk of Muhyiddin’s support at 39 MPs, is however known to have many of its leaders, including current president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, facing trials over alleged corruption.
Both Zahid’s and Najib’s trials are scheduled to continue next week, while other Umno leaders also face criminal charges in court.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong had sought to interview MPs to find a solution to the country’s political impasse, but the interviews did not result in any MP being identified as commanding the confidence of a majority of the 222 MPs in Dewan Rakyat to form a new government.
Istana Negara yesterday said that leaders of political parties with MPs would be asked to nominate their candidate for prime minister.
With 92 backing Anwar and 97 reportedly supporting Muhyiddin, there are currently 33 MPs whose views have yet to be publicly announced.