KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian opposition party formed by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), has been provisionally dissolved by the Registrar of Societies over its alleged failure to provide necessary documents.
“We have been officially notified by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) that PPBM has been deregistered. The notification came just a few minutes ago,” a senior member of PPBM told Channel NewsAsia.
“The deregistration is effective as of now,” the PPBM member added.
Under the law, the ROS can issue a provisional order for the dissolution of a society if it fails to furnish required documents within a stipulated time. The society may cancel the order if the documents are submitted within 30 days.
The party has 30 days to appeal but polls are expected to be called any day now. In the meantime, this provisional dissolution means PPBM cannot use its name and logo or conduct any activities.
But opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan's Secretary-General Saifuddin Abdullah told the media that the presidential council had already decided to treat PPBM as if it was still an active party and will honour agreements made.
This means that PPBM candidates would still be contesting 52 parliamentary seats as individuals but under one of the other component party logos. The logo, speculated to be that of Anwar Ibrahim's Parti Keadilan Rakyat, will be used by all Pakatan parties and will be revealed on Friday night at a rally in Johor.
Meanwhile, Pakatan is unable to use its own coalition logo given its own registration as a formal coalition has yet to be approved.
PPBM Supreme Council member Wan Saiful Wan Jan called the deregistration order “an abuse of power by a regime that is desperate to stay in office”. “UMNO is clearly scared and they are doing everything they can to stop the rise of PPBM,” said Wan Saiful in a statement.
“We will continue to fight this abusive regime. This action provides an even stronger evidence that they must be removed if we want to bring back integrity into our institutions,” he added.
PPBM was officially launched in January 2017 after Dr Mahathir left the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party in 2016 over a corruption scandal involving the state-owned firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Dr Mahathir had called on Prime Minister Najib Razak to step down to take responsibility over the scandal.
Additional reporting by Amy Chew.