Bersatu Blackout denies Syed Saddiq not invited to Dr M’s new party reveal, says he had mother’s retirement ceremony to attend

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) poses for a picture after a media conference at the Pullman Kuala Lumpur in Bangsar August 7, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) poses for a picture after a media conference at the Pullman Kuala Lumpur in Bangsar August 7, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s absence during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s announcement of his new party was not because an invitation was not extended to the former, but rather, he had another event to attend, the Bersatu Blackout group today explained.

Datuk Marzuki Yahya, formerly secretary-general of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and now part of the Bersatu Blackout faction, was reported saying that Syed Saddiq had given advance notice that he would not be present at the announcement of the new party.

“Syed Saddiq already said earlier that he had his mother’s retirement ceremony (ceremony for retirement from teaching) to attend. He had already told earlier (about his non-attendance). That is all,” he was quoted saying by local daily Sinar Harian.

Marzuki reportedly said that Dr Mahathir had himself told reporters the same when asked by reporters during the press conference to announce the formation of the new party.

According to Sinar Harian, Syed Saddiq’s absence at the press conference had led to speculation that the former Bersatu Youth chief was not invited to avoid him from being a liability to the new party, after he was investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

Sinar Harian however reported that Syed Saddiq’s absence was not due to him not being invited

On August 7, which was also the day that Dr Mahathir announced the new party, Syed Saddiq wished his mother happy retirement from her teaching career via a Facebook post, saying that her retirement ceremony was held that day. The Facebook post also featured a photo of him with his mother.

Those present at the August 7 press conference together with Dr Mahathir were Marzuki, Jerlun MP Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik, Kubang Pasu MP Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah, and Sri Gading MP Datuk Shahruddin Md Salleh.

Previously on June 9, Dr Mahathir had, together with Mukhriz, Maszlee, Amiruddin, Syed Saddiq, filed a lawsuit against Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and others to challenge the party’s termination of their membership. The lawsuit was also brought by Marzuki to seek a declaration that he is still the Bersatu secretary-general.

Syed Saddiq had in early July withdrawn himself from the lawsuit after the Bersatu youth wing which he used to lead officially replaced him with another leader.

On July 19, Bersatu’s current secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin released a statement announcing the termination of Shahruddin’s membership after the latter chose not to sit in the government bloc under Muhyiddin in the Dewan Rakyat.

Just hours before Dr Mahathir announced the formation of a new party that has yet to be named, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed the lawsuit brought by Dr Mahathir and the others to cancel the termination of their Bersatu membership.

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