Bersatu’s Akhramsyah Sanusi accused some of his fellow Supreme Council members last night of cowardice for their role in sacking Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four other MPs from the party.
Speaking to Malay Mail, he lambasted the move which he claimed had resulted in a shockwave across the party’s grassroots, triggering anger among their ranks, seeing that many had joined because of their belief in Dr Mahathir.
“The reading of Clause 10.2.3 as an excuse to drop the membership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four other Bersatu MPs is a cowardly act by MPT members who did not dare to face Tun Dr Mahathir at a legitimate MPT meeting.
“The majority of Bersatu’s grassroots have been left perplexed by this decision, especially for those who joined Bersatu before the 14th General Election. Many who joined Bersatu at that time knew it would not be easy to topple the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration for the first time in history.
“The majority of Bersatu members joined our struggle because they believed in Tun Dr Mahathir’s leadership,” said Akhramsyah.
Earlier yesterday, a letter signed by Bersatu’s executive secretary Captain Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya and issued to five of their federal lawmakers had stated that the MPs had lost their membership because they sat in the Opposition bench during the Parliamentary meeting on May 18, opposing party president and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
This decision was later backed by MPT member Wan Saiful Wan Jan who insisted that Dr Mahathir and his four supporters were not “sacked” but because of their actions, their membership was “automatically nullified” and thus they were dropped from Bersatu’s ranks.
However, Akhramsyah countered that their reading of the party’s Constitution is “incorrect and incoherent”.
“Menyertai means join, meaning to be part of another party, not sitting as an independent in Parliament. Three of the five sitting as independents are founders of the party, and four out of five are MPT members. They are not ignorant.
“In addition, Bersatu has not formally agreed to join Perikatan Nasional (PN), which isn’t even a legal entity yet. So, when Muhyiddin joined the ‘PN’ government without agreement from the Bersatu MPT or the party AGM, didn’t he also ‘menyertai’ parti lain? Does that mean his membership of Bersatu is also nullified?
“Like I said, the arguments presented by Wan Saiful and his ilk are incoherent, inconsistent and senseless. He should just keep quiet rather than feed fuel to the fire. Alternatively, he is welcomed to re-join PAS or join Umno if he dislikes Tun Dr M and the rest of us so much, assuming they want him,” said Akhramsyah.
Similarly, Akhramsyah had also demanded that Muhammad Suhaimi step down from his post as executive secretary, stating that the latter had overstepped his bounds and the limits of his authority.
He questioned who gave the instructions to send out the letter, especially when party president Muhyiddin is now under quarantine as he was exposed to the dreaded Covid-19 virus, pointing out that the letter itself is illegitimate.
He noted that many grassroots members are livid over what has happened to their beloved founder, saying that there will not be an exodus as Dr Mahathir is still the chairman in the minds of many of the members.
Instead of an exodus, he predicts that these members will mount a protest and demand that all who insist that Dr Mahathir is not a party member to get out of Bersatu.
Akhramsyah who is also the son of the late Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, who was Dr Mahathir’s long-time ally, believes that this is a move engineered by Muhyiddin’s supporters fearing that their boss might be booted out of the presidency during the party’s election as he is being challenged by Mukhriz.
“Tun M has just won the chairmanship of Bersatu uncontested. Even Muhyiddin, a sitting PM at the time of nomination was challenged by Mukhriz. I think these pro-Muhyiddin people are just afraid he will lose the presidency. That is why they are doing this,” said the MPT member.
Meanwhile, PPBM Supreme Council member Tariq Ismail disputed the reasoning for the removal of the five MPS from the party while PPBM deputy youth chief Mohd Aizad Roslan said he had not been notified of any meeting where action was to be taken against Syed Saddiq.
Their statements add to the state of confusion surrounding PPBM and demonstrate the heated leadership struggle within the party between two factions — one led by Mahathir and the other by party president Muhyiddin Yassin.
Tariq said the party’s constitution only prohibited members from contesting under the logos of other parties.
He added that the seating arrangement in the Dewan Rakyat was not based on the party but on the individual MP’s support for the government of the day.
“Just because the support for a prime minister was considered en bloc according to the party for the past 62 years, it doesn’t mean this is how democracy should be practised.
“Just because previous prime ministers had the support of all party members, it doesn’t mean the constitution of the country and party prohibits differences in support for the nation’s leadership,” he said in a statement today.
He accused those in the party allied to Perikatan Nasional (PN) of misinterpreting the rules and PPBM’s constitution because they were “power-hungry”.
Meanwhile, Aizad said he was not notified of any meeting to discuss Syed Saddiq’s status in the party, adding that every decision about a member’s position in the party should go through the right procedures and according to the party’s constitution.
He also said Syed Saddiq had not received any letter or official information on his termination as a PPBM member.
“I fully support Syed Saddiq as PPBM Youth’s legitimate leader according to PPBM’s party constitution,” he said.