PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad maintains he is still Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman.
“I am still the chairman. Please remember that. Because when they tried to remove me also, it was not valid," he told a press conference at the party headquarters on Friday (May 29).
He said that he had come to the office, because it was his and that he was not there in a while because of Covid-19 restrictions.
“I have only been going to my office from last week. So, now I thought I would come here because I have work to do here and I thought that I might meet some of the staff who have run away, ” he said to laughter.
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In a letter dated May 5, the Registrar of Societies (ROS) declared that Dr Mahathir was no longer the chairman of Bersatu, and that the position would be held by party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin until the next party polls.
However, Dr Mahathir has been disputing that ROS finding, saying that it might not have taken into account several factors over his “resignation”.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir had said earlier Friday that he was at the party headquarters to ask Bersatu executive secretary Kapt (R) Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya why he had been sacked from the party.
The former prime minister and four other Bersatu MPs were issued a letter on Thursday (May 28) informing them that their membership in the party had been terminated following their move to sit in the Opposition bench during the Dewan Rakyat meeting on May 18.
However, Dr Mahathir said there was no provision in the party constitution that prohibited him from sitting wherever he wanted to in Parliament.
“I can sit anywhere. There is nothing in the constitution.
"That doesn’t mean I have left the party. Where you sit is not a cause for sacking, ” he added.
Suhaimi had issued the letters to Dr Mahathir, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Dr Maszlee Malik and Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah, stating that their membership had been terminated with immediate effect because they were not seated with Perikatan Nasional during the one-day meeting.
On May 18, Dr Mahathir led the four MPs to sit with the Opposition bloc in protest of Bersatu having joined hands with former rival MPs to form the Perikatan government.
Muhyiddin and Dr Mahathir have fallen out after the former succeeded him as the eighth Prime Minister when Dr Mahathir resigned as prime minister.
The Pakatan Harapan government collapsed on Feb 24, leading to the formation of Perikatan when Bersatu joined hands with Barisan Nasional, PAS and former Barisan coalition partners.