KUALA LUMPUR: The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) memberships for five federal lawmakers, including veteran politician Mahathir Mohamad, were ceased after they acted against the party's constitution, said Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Saturday (May 30).
In a media statement, Mr Muhyiddin, who is also the party's president, called for calm as he confirmed that Members of Parliament (MP) Dr Mahathir, Mr Mukhriz Mahathir, My Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, Dr Maszlee Malik and Mr Amiruddin Hamzah were no longer party members.
"They were not sacked from the party. Instead, their actions went against the party's constitution and this resulted in the cessation of their memberships with immediate effect," said Mr Muhyiddin.
Last Thursday, letters were issued to the five MPs 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 the Perikatan Nasional coalition led by Mr Muhyiddin.
In his statement, Mr Muhyiddin added that he did not make the decision hastily even though there were calls for him to act much earlier.
"I wanted to be fair to all parties and wanted to make sure that whatever decision was made would be based on the party's constitution. No individual is above the party's constitution," said Muhyiddin.
He maintained that Dr Mahathir's decision to act against the party's direction and objectives, as decided by Bersatu's supreme council, was disappointing.
"Tun (Mahathir) and his supporters have chosen to continue working with Pakatan Harapan even though the party has decided not to. If that's Tun's (Mahathir) choice, I wish him well," added Mr Muhyiddin.
READ: Mahathir won’t go quietly after being sacked, even as Muhyiddin consolidates power in Bersatu: Analysts
At a press conference on Friday, Dr Mahathir insisted that where he sat during the one-day parliament sitting should not be the cause of his dismissal from Bersatu, the political party that he founded in 2016.
"There is no provision in the (party) constitution regarding where I sit. I can sit anywhere, I have done nothing against the constitution.
"(Sitting with the opposition bloc) doesn't mean I have left the party. I can sit anywhere in parliament," he told reporters.
Dr Mahathir had in May 2018 led the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition 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.