Puad Zarkashi: Bersatu Gets Two Senior Ministers Once Azmin Joins Party

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Bersatu will have two senior ministers out of four, once Azmin Ali joins the party, six months after he was expelled from PKR for his involvement in the “Sheraton Move” which toppled the Pakatan Harapan government.

Taking to Facebook today, Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi said former PKR deputy president Azmin finally showed his “true face”.

“According to (former PKR vice president and Azmin’s lieutenant) Zuraida Kamaruddin, the group (PKR defectors) would join Bersatu officially on Aug 22.

“Only now Azmin dares to show his true face. This would mean that Bersatu will get two senior ministers,” Puad said.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had previously appointed Bersatu information chief Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, Umno vice president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, and GPS parliamentary chief whip Fadillah Yusof as senior ministers in charge of the education, security, and infrastructure clusters, respectively.

Puad pointed out that Azmin seemed to be “profiting” for hiding his true colours during his time in both the previous and current federal governments.

“In the Pakatan Harapan era, Azmin’s group who wasn’t seeing eye-to-eye with those in PKR were given four minister posts, whereas the pro-Anwar Ibrahim group only got three.

“In the Perikatan Nasional era, Azmin still profited as he was appointed senior minister though he was partyless.

“He always profits when his face is not clear. However, his face will become clear when he joins Bersatu,” Puad added.

Zuraida reportedly confirmed that Azmin’s group, which comprises 10 former PKR MPs, will announce they have joined Bersatu soon.

“We were a part of Bersatu. That’s why, in Parliament, we were seated with Bersatu,” she was quoted as saying by Harian Metro.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

“This is just a formality which we haven’t done. On Aug 22, there will be a large ceremony to announce our joining of Bersatu,” she added.

On Aug 7, Segamat MP and Federal Territories deputy minister Edmund Santhara Kumar told the media that he had joined Bersatu on his own volition. He claimed to have earlier been sacked from PKR in April.

He is the first non-bumiputera MP to join Bersatu.

The former PKR MPs, or Azmin’s group, who are officially joining Bersatu include Saifuddin Abdullah (Indera Mahkota), Kamaruddin Jaafar (Bandar Tun Razak), Mansor Othman (Nibong Tebal), Rashid Hasnon (Batu Pahat), Ali Biju (Saratok), and Willie Mongin (Puncak Borneo).

Puad then questioned if, after all this, can Azmin, the three-term Gombak MP who won under PKR’s ticket, be able to retain his seat in the upcoming general election when “his face has become clear”.

“After joining Bersatu, it will not be easy for Azmin and his group to win solid support of the Chinese like how they did in the 13th and 14th general elections,” he said.

“By joining Bersatu, Azmin will join Muafakat Nasional (too). There is a proverb that says ‘masuk kandang kambing mengembik, masuk kandang kerbau menguak’ (when you enter a goat’s pen, bleat, when you enter a cow’s pen, moo),” he said.

Puad was apparently referring to the Malay-centric thrust of Muafakat Nasional’s political position, which would ostensibly alienate non-Malay voters in Azmin’s constituency of Gombak.

“The people will see the true face of Azmin. Only the inspector-general of police will say Azmin’s face is still blurred,” he jibed.

In the 2018 general election, Azmin won a majority vote of 48,721 in a three-cornered fight, facing Umno-BN and PAS rivals. Bersatu, a four-year-old party formed by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has never been tested in Gombak.

Bernama

Gombak is a Malay-majority seat with 77 percent Malay voters, while Chinese and Indians both comprise 11 percent of total voters each.

Besides Gombak, Azmin is also the Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyperson. The state seat, which sits in the Gombak parliamentary constituency, has been held by Azmin since the 2008 polls. – Malaysiakini