KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Fissures in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia grew more exposed yesterday when its secretary-general publicly rejected its information chief’s assertion that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was not empowered to sign an accord with Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Datuk Marzuki Yahya reminded Senator Radzi Jidin that the Bersatu supreme council unanimously rejected Dr Mahathir’s resignation as chairman and backed him to remain as the prime minister during the February crisis.

The supreme council also never formally decided to leave PH and only discussed the matter, Marzuki added.

“As such, the statement that the Bersatu supreme council decided to withdraw the party from PH is inaccurate and completely wrong,” he said in a statement.


“I would like to remind all that the ultimate party leader is Tun Dr Mahathir as chairman and the absolute power to lead Bersatu rests with him, in line with the principles of legal supremacy and the party’s constitution.”

Marzuki added that any and all actions by Dr Mahathir were in his capacity as the incumbent Bersatu chairman.

He further stressed that the Bersatu leadership never proposed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to be the eighth prime minister of Malaysia, which meant the party was not obligated to support this or was bound to it in any way.


Turning Radzi’s arguments back against him, Marzuki added that the Bersatu supreme council also never decided to enter into a partnership with Umno and PAS in the informal Perikatan Nasional coalition.

On Radzi’s warning that members who went against the party’s decisions could be dismissed, Marzuki challenged the information chief to demonstrate which of Dr Mahathir and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s remarks contradicted any of Bersatu’s official decisions.

The civil war in Bersatu is erupting right as the country is trying to navigate through a world-stopping pandemic.

Preceding this was the open hostilities between factions in Bersatu Youth that were variously loyal to Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin.

The split stems from Muhyiddin’s unexpected appointment as prime minister in March through a partnership with former rivals Umno, PAS and their allies at a time when Dr Mahathir was still seeking to be reappointed.

Dr Mahathir and Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal both launched what appeared to be a political pincer movement this month, with the former seeking a vote of no-confidence against Muhyiddin while the latter proposed a motion of confidence on Dr Mahathir.

The Speaker of Parliament rejected Shafie’s motion yesterday for purportedly being unconstitutional and Dr Mahathir’s motion is set to suffer the same.

Had they been accepted, the motions would have been tabled during the unusual single-day meeting of Parliament on May 18.

Muhyiddin’s government truncated the meeting that was already delayed from its original date in March to just a single day, citing the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason.