IPOH, Jan 22 — Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) today clarified that the three Perak assemblymen who joined the party did not defect to do so.

Perak PBM secretary Sharifah Hazlina Syed Musa Jamalullail claimed Buntong assemblyman A Sivasubramaniam and Tronoh assemblyperson Paul Yong were technically not Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) members.

“Sivasubramaniam had successfully applied for Bersatu membership and his application was received early last year.

“However, his membership was transferred to a different division (without his consent) instead of being placed in the Ipoh Barat Parliament division which is his constituency.

“Meanwhile, Yong’s application which was sent together with Sivasubramaniam was not processed at all by Bersatu. Due to that, Yong decided to join PBM,” she said in a statement.

Both Yong and Sivasubramaniam were previously DAP members but left the party to become independent lawmakers supporting the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government when Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu was mentri besar.

As for Malim Nawar assemblyman Leong Cheok Keng, Sharifah Hazlina said he remained Independent after leaving DAP.

Sivasubramaniam is PBM’s new senior vice-president II while Yong is the treasurer-general.

Recently, several Bersatu leaders claimed that that two of their assemblymen had defected from the party.