Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) may be considering taking over an existing party after the Registrar of Societies (RoS) refused to approve the party’s registration.
A source close to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also the Pejuang pro-tem chairperson, said they hope the RoS will eventually approve the party – but they are keeping their options open if it does not.
The source claimed a possible takeover candidate is the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma).
“It is still at the discussion stage, but we hope that Pejuang’s registration can be approved instead,” he told Malaysiakini.
However, Mahathir’s political secretary Abu Bakar Yahya downplayed the takeover proposal as “speculation”.
Abu Bakar stressed that Putrajaya should not block Pejuang from being registered as a new political party.
“It’s just speculation. People can also say that Pejuang will take over Umno or Bersatu.
“The fact is that there is no reason for the government not to approve Pejaung’s registration.
“If there are any conditions that are not met (for the registration), we can meet them,” Abu Bakar said when contacted by Malaysiakini.
Mahathir previously complained that the RoS refused to approve Pejaung, a splinter party of Bersatu, which is led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Mahathir said this was despite Pejuang already fulfilling all the conditions for registration.
He claimed that RoS would not approve the registration of the party without Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin’s consent, even though his permission is not procedurally required.
The Langkawi MP and his Pejuang co-founders have since taken the RoS to court.
The Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda), led by Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, also has similar complaints against the ROS and has initiated legal action.
Syed Saddiq claimed that the home minister had suggested Muda supports the government if it wanted to be registered.
In 2015, to get around the RoS’ roadblocks, a breakaway faction from PAS took over the Malaysia Worker’s Party, which was subsequently renamed Amanah.
Amanah is now part of the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan. – Malaysiakini