KUALA LUMPUR: Two Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leaders aligned to party founder Mahathir Mohamad have been removed from their posts.
In letters dated Jun 2 and signed by party president Muhyiddin Yassin, Mr Marzuki Yahya and Mr Akramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi were informed that they have been relieved of their duties as Penang chief and supreme council member respectively.
This came after Dr Mahathir and four others had their memberships nullified last week, following their decision not to sit with the newly formed Perikatan Nasional (PN) government headed by Mr Muhyiddin in the parliament sitting on May 18.
However, Dr Mahathir had disputed the legitimacy of the termination and insisted that he is still the party chairman.
Similarly, Mr Marzuki maintained that he is still the party secretary-general, even though he was dropped by Mr Muhyiddin in March and replaced by Mr Hamzah Zainuddin.
Founded in 2016, Bersatu had in May 2018 worked with Mr Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Democratic Action Party and Parti Amanah Negara to achieve an electoral victory and replaced Barisan Nasional (BN) as the federal government.
However, Mr Muhyiddin pulled the party out of the PH coalition in February, prompting Dr Mahathir to resign as prime minister and triggering the collapse of the PH government.
With the support of BN members of parliament, Mr Muhyiddin was named the country’s eighth prime minister. He now leads the PN government, which is made up of Bersatu, BN, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Parti Bersatu Sabah and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku.
An internal conflict within Bersatu has since been brewing, with disagreements between factions led by Dr Mahathir and Mr Muhyiddin playing out in the open ahead of inaugural party polls.
Both Mr Marzuki and Mr Akramsyah have on many occasions voiced their support for Dr Mahathir.
In the Jun 2 letters, Mr Muhyiddin thanked them for their service.
“I would like to say thank you and convey my gratitude for your contributions and service during your tenure,” both letters read.