KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia information committee member Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby today claimed that Umno's Tangga Batu division chief Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Mohamad has joined the party earlier this month.

The former Melaka chief minister said Mohamad Ali's entry would strengthen the party in the state by reinforcing its grassroots and attracting more members there.

“His migration will attract more Umno members and leaders in Melaka who are not in line with the current Umno leadership to join Bersatu.

“There are many grassroots Umno members who are not Bersatu members but still support our cause in Melaka,” he was quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia.

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He then went on to say that more Umno members and leaders in the state are expected to follow Mohamad Ali's footsteps due to their dissatisfaction with Umno’s performance since joining the Perikatan Nasional government.

Previously, Utusan Malaysia also reported speculation involving three former chiefs of Umno divisions in Melaka which are Mohamad Ali, Umno Jasin former chief division Datuk Hasan Rahman, and Umno Alor Gajah acting chief division Datuk Rospandi Leman who were said to be joining Bersatu starting last week.

However, all three of them denied the rumours.

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Abdul Rahim added that Mohamad Ali plans to open more than 20 Bersatu branches in Tangga Batu to strengthen the party's position for the upcoming state election.

“However, he has not been given any specific position yet but will work with the Bersatu Tangga Batu division chief Ramlan Meon to strengthen the party,” he was quoted as saying.

Utusan Malaysia's attempts to contact Mohamad Ali regarding his comments on the matter were unsuccessful.

However, Mohamad Ali stated on his official Facebook page that he would soon announce his stance.