PETALING JAYA: Campaigning for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s inaugural party polls, expected to be held in a month’s time, has begun on the quiet, according to a leader.
There is indication that top posts will be challenged, including those of party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Armada chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
Perak chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said although “unofficial campaigning” has started, it is being done “underground”.
“It may not be too obvious but campaigning for the party polls in Bersatu has started. Most are focusing on those running in party branches and divisions, ” said the Perak Mentri Besar.
On talk that there are those thinking of taking on Muhyiddin, another senior party member said they would find the going tough as the Home Minister is on secure ground.
“They are dreaming, ” said Perak Armada chief Mohd Hafez Mubin Salleh.
Bersatu supreme council member Tareq Ismail said he too has heard of some eyeing the president’s post, but that can only be known after the division polls are completed.
One Bersatu leader said he will throw his hat into the ring if he wins the state chief’s post and if there is no one else contesting against Muhyiddin.
“I am not going to name myself now and spoil my chances, but if there is no other contender (for the president’s post), I will enter the fray.
“First, I’ll have to win the division polls, ” said the leader from a northern state.
As this is the first party polls for Bersatu since its inception in September 2016, Tareq said all posts seem to be up for grabs.
“States to watch are Johor, Kedah, Melaka, Perak and Negri Sembilan, ” said Tareq, who has yet to decide if he will contest.
These states are deemed to be among those with a high number of Bersatu members.
Mubin also said there will be quite a number of youth members interested in competing in the polls.
“Anyone who has been a member for a year or more can contest.
“As for those who have been with the party for less than a year, if they have been appointed as division committee members, they are also given leeway to contest, ” said Mubin, who will be contesting.
Another Armada member said all top positions of Armada are likely to be contested.
“Even our chief (Syed Saddiq) may have to fight tooth and nail to keep his post.
“He has support but there are pockets of discontent, ” said the Armada member from Kedah.
In Perlis, the two likely main contenders for the post of Perlis Bersatu chief are currently on garden leave after a disciplinary investigation.
The former state party chief Amier Hassan and state party secretary Wan Saiful Wan Jan are said to have already started making their rounds at the grassroots for months.
Elections are set to begin next month to elect branch and division committee members.
The divisional annual general meetings will be held on April 4 nationwide.
On Jan 8, Bersatu election committee chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the voting process for branch committee members will be by show of hands.
“A secret balloting process will be used to elect division committee members and supreme council members, ” he said.
Although the election results will be known immediately on polling day, the official announcement of top office-bearers will only be made on June 20, he said.
Bersatu has 377,057 members from 2,946 branches nationwide.
Nominations for posts at branch and division levels close on Jan 26.