Cracks in Johor Bersatu, 21 division chiefs want MB to lead party


JOHOR BARU: Days after a former state executive councillor was elected as the new state Parti Pribumi Bersatu chairman, "cracks" have started appearing in the party.

At least 21 division chiefs had a special meeting at the Pribumi headquarters here on Sunday (May 5) to pledge their support for newly minted Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal (pic).

It is learnt that among those absent at the meeting were new Bersatu chief Mazlan Bujang, who is Tebrau chairman, and chairmen from Kota Tinggi, Mersing, Simpang Renggam and Pulai.

It is leant that Dr Sahruddin was present at the meeting as he is the state Pribumi secretary.

Also present was former mentri besar Datuk Osman Sapian who is also Ayer Hitam Pribumi division chief. 

It is learnt that besides the division chiefs, the Bersatu women's wings have also come out to support Dr Sahruddin to be the state chief.

Johor Bersatu has a total of 26 divisions.

Sources said that the Bersatu leaders hope to get signatures and submit a memorandum to Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad asking him to reconsider his decision in appointing Mazlan and choose Dr Sahruddin as state chief instead.

"We need unity in the party. We also do not want problems with the Johor palace," a party official said. 

When contacted, Osman downplayed the meeting saying it was merely a "coffee shop" discussion among the division leaders.

He however declined to give how many division leaders attended the discussion.

“If they wanted to appoint a new chairman, then let the Mentri Besar (Dr Sahruddin) hold the position,” he said.

Earlier, several members of the media had been waiting at the headquarters where Dr Sahruddin declined to meet reporters who had been waiting for more than half an hour.

Later, a party representative asked the media to leave the premises as no press conference had been called by the Johor Bersatu.

Mazlan, the newly-minted state Bersatu chief, had said he hoped to work well with local leaders, including Dr Sahruddin, to strengthen the party.