Former PKR lawmaker Edmund Santhara Kumar, who is the Segamat MP and Federal Territories deputy minister, has become the first non-bumiputera MP to join Bersatu.
Santhara submitted his membership form to party secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin at parliament around 5.50pm yesterday, reported Utusan Malaysia.
“I submitted the lifetime membership form to the Bersatu secretary-general yesterday.
“I did not leave (the previous) party. I was sacked on April 3 due to my principle in defending Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the prime minister when signing the statutory declaration in front of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara (in February).
“Then, I supported Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime minister candidate during a special meeting with Mahathir and other Bersatu MPs,” he said.
Santhara added that he had met Muhyiddin to relay his wish to join the party.
He told the Malay daily that it’s time for him to be in a party which defends the constitution and Rukun Negara (National Principles).
“What’s more in facing challenges in relation to racial issues which require solid cooperation between bumiputra and non-bumiputra,” he said.
Other than Santhara, those who left PKR include Mohamed Azmin Ali (Gombak), Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang), Saifuddin Abdullah (Indera Mahkota), and Baru Bian (Selangau).
They had left PKR to join Muhyiddin-led Bersatu who brought out the party from Pakatan Harapan which led to the collapse of the Harapan government.
Subsequently, they joined forces with Umno, BN, PAS and Sarawak’s GPS to form the Perikatan Nasional government.
Last year, Santhara was labelled the richest MP with assets totalling RM132.83 million which was revealed through after his asset declaration.
He had cited concerns on his safety and privacy after the declaration. – Malaysiakini