KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Deputy Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon has rejected claims that he was leaving Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, sparked by Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin’s departure for Parti Bangsa Malaysia.

The Batu Pahat MP said the allegations surrounding him and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who has already expressed his commitment to the party, were part of a campaign to undermine Bersatu.

“Just a few hours before the false news spread, I was with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at a programme and press conference in Johor,” he noted, before thanking the Bersatu president for his continued support and confidence.

“False news attacks like this show that some parties are running out of ideas on how to apply pressure and create negativity to weaken Bersatu. May Allah keep us all away from any form of slander like this,” he said.

Zuraida’s announcement that she was leaving Bersatu for PBM had triggered rumours that former PKR MPs who were part of the so-called “Sheraton Move” that brought down the Pakatan Harapan government in 2020 would also leave Bersatu.

On June 14, Muhyiddin came out to reject claims that both Azmin and Rashid would abandon the party as a “lie”, saying there was no reason for them to leave.

Two days ago, Azmin also denied that he would follow Zuraida to join PBM, saying that his political ideals and principles are aligned with Bersatu.

Rumours first surfaced last week, and subsequently reported by the media, that Azmin, who is the international trade and industry minister, and Rashid were leaving the party.

Zuraida, who is Ampang MP, announced that she officially joined PBM on May 26 and offered to resign as minister since she was no longer with Bersatu, setting off a tussle over who would be her successor.

Two days later, Ismail Sabri said that Zuraida would be allowed to keep her ministerial portfolio until they meet, which has yet to happen at the time of writing as no date has been set.