KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today seemingly appeared to be gloating over Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (Bersatu) announcement of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four other MPs ceasing to be party members.
In a brief Facebook post just about an hour after Bersatu’s announcement, former prime minister and former Umno president Najib was seen seemingly gleefully enjoying himself while snacking on local snack Super Ring.
Along with the photo of Najib was the brief line: “Dengar kata ada orang dipecat?” (Heard someone just got sacked?)
This is not the first time that Najib has posed with the Super Ring snack in his Facebook posts.
Once from the same party as Najib, Dr Mahathir had in 2016 quit Umno over disagreements and after soured ties with Najib over his alleged involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
Dr Mahathir later founded Bersatu — which was officially launched in January 2017 — and led the new political party as its chairman in partnering up with DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara to form Pakatan Harapan (PH) in a concerted effort to drive out the Najib-led Barisan Nasional administration.
Dr Mahathir was successful in leading the PH coalition to victory in the May 2018 elections, with the BN coalition’s historic defeat leading to Najib resigning as Umno president and BN chairman at that time.
In yet another Facebook post uploaded about two hours after news surfaced of Bersatu’s termination of Dr Mahathir’s membership, Najib posted a brief trolling remark without explanation: “Eh. Jawatan Ketua Umum PKR sudah lama kosong.” (Eh. The post of PKR de facto chief has long been empty.”
Attached with the post was a brief undated video clip of former PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail looking on as Dr Mahathir examined a PKR badge pinned on his Bersatu shirt, with Dr Wan Azizah also seen clapping in the video.
It is unclear when the video clip was taken, but the PH coalition was not allowed by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) under the Najib administration to contest as a party in the May 2018 elections unlike the BN coalition which could do so, and the PH coalition was at time left with no choice but to choose a single party to contest under — PKR. After the May 2018 elections which PH won, the PH coalition was allowed to be registered as a party.
Following the May 2018 elections, the subsequent PKR internal election saw Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim winning the party president post uncontested and no longer holding on to his post of almost 20 years as PKR de facto leader. Anwar took over the post of PKR president from his wife Dr Wan Azizah.
This evening shortly before 7pm, Bersatu released five individual letters addressed to Dr Mahathir who had previously asserted that he was still party chairman; his son and party deputy president and also Jerlun MP, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir; Kubang Pasu MP Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah; party Youth chief and Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman; and Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik.
In the five letters, Bersatu informed the five that their party membership had ceased with immediate effect, due to their decision to sit in the federal Opposition bloc during the May 18 Dewan Rakyat proceedings instead of the government bloc with MPs supporting the Perikatan Nasional administration led by prime minister and Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Bersatu cited Articles 10.2.2 and 10.2.3 of the party constitution to justify the decision to end the five’s membership, with the two provisions respectively stating that a party member’s membership will cease immediately if they declare that they quit the party or if they join or become a member of any other political parties in the country.