KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Deputy Works Minister Shahruddin Salleh said on Tuesday (Jun 2) that he is prepared to resign, while hinting that he could return to the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
In a statement posted on the youth wing Facebook page of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), he wrote: “Say, for instance, that I need to resign as deputy works minister. I would do that in the name of strengthening Bersatu, so that I can focus full-time on Bersatu”.
He added: “(If) I have to leave my PN (Perikatan Nasional) friends and return to PH, and there is a guarantee that Bersatu will be strong and continue to thrive there, I’d be willing to do that.”
Mr Shahruddin stated that his love for Bersatu was above his allegiance to any leaders, including Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the party’s president, as well as Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who founded the party.
However, he noted that the majority of Bersatu members had joined the party due to Dr Mahathir. He added that Dr Mahathir’s contribution to the party is “as big and heavy as the earth”. Without Dr Mahathir in the party, “Bersatu will die”, he also said.
READ: Mahathir won’t go quietly after being sacked, even as Muhyiddin consolidates power in Bersatu, say analysts
Mr Shahruddin questioned whether PN, led by Mr Muhyiddin, could be classified as an official political coalition.
“As far as I can remember, PH is a formal body registered with and certified by the Registrar of Societies.
“To me, PN is just the name of an unofficial body of parliamentarians who support Muhyiddin as prime minister. PN is not an alliance of parties,” he said.
Dr Mahathir had in May 2018 led PH to an electoral victory and the formation of the federal government.
However, Mr Muhyiddin led Bersatu out of PH in February this year. Dr Mahathir resigned as prime minister, triggering the collapse of the PH government.
Mr Muhyiddin then teamed up with Barisan Nasional (BN) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) to form the new ruling government. He was sworn in as the country's eighth prime minister.
Last week, letters were issued to Dr Mahathir and four other lawmakers by Bersatu's executive secretary Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya, informing them that their party memberships were terminated according to clauses 10.2.2 and 10.2.3 of the party's constitution.
Mr Muhammad Suhaimi said this was because they had sat with the opposition bloc during the parliamentary sitting on May 18, and not with PN.
Dr Mahathir then insisted that where he sat during the one-day parliament sitting should not be the cause of his dismissal from Bersatu. He also said that he remains the party chairman.
On Saturday, Mr Muhyiddin stated that the party membership of the five lawmakers were ceased after they acted against the party's constitution.