KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 – The latest news about Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) central leadership taking charge of the party’s affairs in Perlis is clear evidence of old habits from its main “feeder party” Umno taking hold.
Last night, Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Marzuki Yahya revealed that the party’s central leadership will take over the running of Perlis party matters following reports of internal strife in the northern state, New Straits Times reported.
The Bersatu central leadership had decided this in a meeting chaired by president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, with Marzuki saying that such an action was in accordance with Clause 14 of the party constitution.
Marzuki, who is the deputy foreign minister, added that no one from Perlis Bersatu, including state chairman Ameir Hassan, is allowed to issue any statements on the party.
“All administrative affairs will be taken over by headquarters, under my supervision as secretary-general. At the end of the month, I will hold a meeting with the entire Perlis leadership line-up to find a way to resolve things.
“We will not announce anyone as state chairman until we resolve this conflict,” Marzuki was quoted as saying by the daily.
Wan Saiful alleges misconduct by Perlis Bersatu leadership
The decision has been the culmination of a tumultuous week in which Perlis Bersatu has been in the news over allegations of corruption, misconduct and abuse of power by its leaders made by its secretary Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who is also the chairman of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN).
Wan Saiful also admitted to filing a police report alleging that falsification of documents involving hundreds of thousands of ringgit had taken place at the Perlis Bersatu office.
He made the allegations after Perlis Bersatu dropped him from the state leadership line-up on the grounds of ill health, with them also saying that they want to let him focus on his role as PTPTN chairman.
Wan Saiful then countered by claiming that he had been dropped over the police report, which implicated the Perlis Bersatu leadership.
According to the NST, Marzuki also admitted that the party had been plagued with problems in the state since almost the very beginning.
He added that there was a possibility that the entire state leadership line-up could be revamped.
Negri Sembilan Bersatu divisions dissolved
This is not the first time that Bersatu has faced state-wide problems after GE14, with the party central leadership ordering the dissolution of all its divisions in Negri Sembilan last September.
Bersatu President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported as saying that the central leadership had decided to dissolve the divisions because they felt it was the best approach in resolving the long-standing problems that affected these divisions.
“The decision was based on a provision in the party constitution and advise of the Registrar of Societies, and this would make way for fresh appointments at the branch and division levels,” Muhyiddin was reported to have said at a press conference on September 27 last year.
Muhyiddin had at the time named Tan Sri Rais Yatim, a former Umno stalwart who joined Bersatu in June last year, as the defacto Negri Sembilan Bersatu chief towards revamping the party set-up in the state and reestablishing branches and divisions.
However, as at Oct 20 last year, Rais was quoted by Berita Harian as saying that only the Jelebu division, to which he belongs, had been established with the others to come later.
There have been no updates since from the party as to the status of the Negri Sembilan divisions and the party’s official website lists party contact addresses for every state in the peninsula except Negri Sembilan.
Concern by pre-GE14 Bersatu leaders over new “Umno team”
A report by The Malaysian Insight today on concerns over newly-minted members and ex-leaders from Umno becoming Bersatu leaders is just another symptom of what’s wrong with the party.
According to the report, Bersatu leaders and members have begun formulating strategies for the party elections in June to try and rein in the influence of former Umno members who joined the party after the 14th general election.
They are said to fear that these former Umno leaders and members will try to control Bersatu and change its struggles.
One youth leader from Bersatu also related how money was being used by these ex-Umno leaders, some of whom were Umno division chiefs, to influence Bersatu grassroots.
“The original fighters are distressed because they don’t have the funds.
“How can you buy the affections of the members, when the new members are capable of pumping cash out to others? Of course, they will be in power.
“Division chiefs and members are worried about this,” Gopeng Youth wing chief Megat Muhamad Asri Megat Zambri told the news portal.
He added that there were existing division chief who had struggled for the cause of the party well before GE14 and now want their returns.
It is believed that this is why Bersatu Vice-President Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Ab Rahman told the party’s general assembly last month that the Federal Development Department (JPP), scrapped by the PH government after taking over Putrajaya, should be reinstated for the benefit of Bersatu division and branch chiefs nationwide.
“Division and branch chiefs must get more money so that they can do more. Our people must be given all the development projects by the Federal government,” he was reported to have said.