PUTRAJAYA: The application by controversial Umno politician Mohd Ali Baharom, a leader of the “Red Shirts” and known for his “butt showing exercise”, to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia has been rejected.
Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the party was not interested in accepting people with tainted records, including Sungai Besar Umno chief Datuk Seri Jamal Md Yunos.
“People can apply to join Bersatu, but it does not mean their application will automatically be accepted. If we feel that the applicant is not good, we will reject,” he said.
He added that Mohd Ali and Jamal were not known for good things.
“Why should we accept people like these into our party?” said Muhyiddin at a press conference here.
An online portal reported that Mohd Ali, also known as Ali Tinju, had applied to become a member of Bersatu’s Bandar Tun Razak division on Sunday.
He told the portal that he wanted to join Bersatu “on his own accord”, adding that in Umno he held no leadership positions and merely “took orders” from its leaders.
He also claimed that he was a “changed man” and was “not after any post or monetary gains”.
An aide to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday also confirmed that Mohd Ali’s application had been rejected.
According to a Facebook post by Adam Mukhriz Mohd Muhayeddin, the assistant press secretary to Dr Mahathir, Bersatu was seeking quality members.
Mohd Ali was a leader of Gerakan Merah 1Malaysia, also known as the Red Shirts. The word “tinju” in his nickname refers to the Malay word for boxing or fighting.
He first courted national controversy in 2012 when he and his followers performed a “butt showing exercise” in front of the house of Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who was then the chairman of election reform group Bersih 2.0.
He was also accused of making an incendiary speech before the riots in front of Low Yat Plaza, Kuala Lumpur, on July 12, 2015, after a Malay man was temporarily detained by Chinese traders for stealing a handphone.