JOHOR BARU, Sept 4 ― Former Johor mentri besar Datuk Osman Sapian remains a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) member pending an investigation against him, disciplinary board chairman Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas clarified.
He clarified this after saying earlier that Osman’s membership was revoked for allegedly campaigning for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s unregistered Pejuang party during the Slim by-election.
“At the same time, Bersatu’s disciplinary board will also conduct an investigation into the social media claims against Datuk Osman.
“We will act fairly as he has personally denied going against the party’s rules,” Megat Najmuddin told Malay Mail when contacted.
Megat Najmuddin said the disciplinary board will give Osman until after the coming Johor state assembly meeting, ostensibly so it would not disrupt this.
Perikatan Nasional holds just 29 seats in the 56-member assembly if Osman is included. Pakatan Harapan has 27. The assembly would be hung if he were to back the latter coalition.
“We have to take into account of his position as an elected state representative in Johor as not to disrupt the state assembly sitting,” Megar continued
The next Johor state assembly meeting is scheduled to be held on September 10 and Sept 13.
Megat Najmuddin also clarified earlier reports that Osman’s Bersatu membership had been automatically revoked by the party’s disciplinary board, purporting to be speaking hypothetically.
“What I said earlier was purely theory that was based on Bersatu’s party constitution under Clause 10.2.3, if Datuk Osman did not deny going against the party rules.
“Under the clause, there was no need for him to be present in front of the party’s disciplinary board and his party membership can be automatically revoked.
“However, in this case he has denied going against the party’s rules and it is only fair that we hear him out,” said Megat Najmuddin.
Last week, Osman’s loyalty to Bersatu was called into question after allegations surfaced of his supposed impending exit to join Pejuang after he was publicly seen with several of the new party’s leaders during the Slim by-election campaign.
Following that, a video went viral last Saturday showing Osman, who is also the Ayer Hitam Bersatu division chief, supposedly speaking on the campaign trail in support of Independent candidate Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi.
In the video, Osman is said to have admitted being the Kempas state assemblyman on the Bersatu ticket and that he was still a member of the party but alleged that Bersatu had strayed from its original struggles.
It was also reported that Johor Bersatu will leave it to the party leadership to deal with Osman according to party rules.