KUALA LUMPUR: Independent Pokok Sena MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar (pic) has announced he is joining Parti Amanah Negara, a component party of the Pakatan Harapan Opposition coalition.
“I am proud to announce that I will be joining Parti Amanah Negara today,” he told reporters in Parliament on Thursday (March 15).
Mahfuz hosted a lunch for Pakatan MPs to fulfil his promise to announce his future political plans 45 days after his official resignation from PAS.
However, he actually announced his decision to quit PAS on Dec 31 last year, after 34 years with the party.
The 61-year-old joined PAS on March 12, 1984.
Present at Thursday’s announcement was Amanah president Datuk Mohamad Sabu.
Mahfuz is believed to have been estranged from PAS and his colleagues then as he was often seen siding with Pakatan, which PAS had disassociated itself from.
Last October, PAS said that it had decided to drop Mahfuz as a candidate in the coming general election.
Mahfuz has held the Pokok Sena seat for two terms.
He was also embroiled in a controversy with the Pahang Palace earlier this year, after a video of a talk with Pakatan saw him commenting on the ability of 92-year-old Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – now Pakatan’s prime minister candidate – to lead the country, and compared him to Pahang Ruler, Sultan Ahmad Shah.
The Regent of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah expressed his anger with Mahfuz's actions for allegedly insulting the Sultan of Pahang during his political talk, adding that it was a breach of the Malay code of ethics.
A report was lodged in Pahang, and Mahfuz has given his statement to the police.
Meanwhile, former Bank Negara deputy director Dr Rosli Yaakop, 66, from Rembau has also joined Amanah.
He had served as deputy media chief of PAS’ publication Harakah, and contested against Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Tan Sri Isa Samad for the Linggi parliament seat in 1999 but lost.