Two Bersatu reps join PBM


By IVAN LOHANDY CHUA

IPOH: Perak assemblymen A. Sivasubramaniam and Paul Yong have left Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and joined the recently-launched Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM).

Their memberships were revealed by PBM president Larry Sang at a press conference in Sibu after the party held its first extraordinary general meeting yesterday.

Sivasubramaniam, who is Buntong assemblyman was appointed PBM senior vice-president II while Yong who is Tronoh assemblyman was made treasurer.

Both had joined Bersatu in March last year after quitting DAP following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan state government in 2020.

The party’s supreme council line-up for 2022-25 term which Sng announced also saw Lembah Jaya assemblyman Haniza Talha appointed as deputy president I, Wong Judat (deputy president II), Steven Choong who is Tebrau MP (senior vice-president I), Rahimah Majid (vice-president I), Dr Sathiskumar Govindaraju (vice-president II), Sementa assemblyman Dr Daroyah Alwi (Women’ chief), Na’im Brundage (Youth chief), Nor Hizwan Ahmad (secretary-general), Jenny Chiew (deputy secretary-general) and Zakaria Abdul Hamid (Information chief).

Haniza was former Parti Keadilan Rakyat wanita chief while Daroyah left PKR in June 2020 and became independent assemblyman.

Nor Hizwan is the chairman of Penggerak Kommuniti Negara Malaysia (PKN) – an NGO linked to Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin who left PKR to join Bersatu during the Sheraton Move. He was also Zuraidah’s former political secretary.

Another Perak politician said to have joined PBM was Malim Nawar assemblyman Leong Cheok Keng who had his membership terminated by DAP in January last year after he was suspected of joining MCA.

When contacted, Leong said he was attracted by the perspective of PBM mainly due to it being a multi-racial party.

“The party also emphasises on empowering young people and women from multi-racial backgrounds,” he said, adding that he joined PBM a “few months ago”.

Attempts to get Yong and Sivasubramaniam for comments were not successful.

Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said he was not aware of Yong and Sivasubramaniam’s defection and added that both would automatically cease to be members should they join PBM.

“The party’s constitution clearly states that if a member joins another political party, his or her membership will cease automatically.

“The party does not have to make the decision to sack both,” he said when contacted.

Asked whether he was disappointed, Ahmad Faizal who is also Perak Bersatu chairman said: “My feelings are irrelevant here.”

Meanwhile, Sng said PBM would seek to join Barisan Nasional in anticipation for the 15th General Election and believed they could help Barisan win mixed seats.

“PBM can be a multiracial party option for Barisan to win several important mixed seats in the peninsular and also in Sabah.

“Barisan has proven to have stable party management, as well as being considered the most experienced coalition in governing the country.

“As such, PBM’s decision to be a Barisan component is the right strategy. The motion to seek Barisan membership was approved at the EGM,” he said.

Sng, who is also Julau MP, added that a meeting with the Barisan supreme council would be held soon, and they would also reach out to Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

PBM was formed from the name change in Sarawak Workers’ Party in November last year.

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