Bersatu will not accept individuals like army veteran Mohd Ali Baharom, party secretary-general Marzuki Yahya said today.
Marzuki told Malaysiakini he was surprised when it was announced at a charity programme he attended in Bandar Tun Razak yesterday that Ali, popularly known as Ali Tinju, would submit his membership application.
This came after he received about 500 membership applications from the Bandar Tun Razak division chief during the event.
“Actually, I was invited to an event for the asnaf (impoverished). During the event, I delivered a speech and handed over aid to the asnaf.
“After that, the division chief handed in about 500 applications. Then suddenly, there was an announcement saying that Ali Tinju would also hand in his application form.
“He relayed his intention to join the party. He came politely and so we accepted the form,” he explained.
However, Marzuki reiterated that the party would not forget what Ali had done in the past and his criticism of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“So let’s make it clear that we will reject his application,” he said, adding that he had never met Ali prior to that event.
Marzuki also dismissed a report by a media portal that Ali had joined Bersatu.
“No. That’s wrong,” he said.
Ali is known for leading counter-demonstrations opposing electoral reform group Bersih and the TangkapMO1 anti-corruption protests, including a 2012 “butt exercise protest” outside the home of Ambiga Sreenevasan, who co-chaired Bersih at the time.
FMT quoted Ali as saying that he is now a supporter of Bersatu chairperson Mahathir and has lost faith in the Umno leadership following the corruption scandals involving former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
“I joined Bersatu on my own accord. In Umno, I was not in a leadership position. So, we were just taking orders from the leaders,” he said.
When contacted by Malaysiakini, Ali declined to comment beyond saying “it’s okay” when quizzed on Marzuki’s statement that his (Ali’s) application would not be accepted. – Malaysiakini