KUALA LUMPUR: The lack of a solid grassroots base, especially among the Malays, is what could compel Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) to contest in the 14th General Election (GE14) under the DAP banner, in the wake of unresolved issues concerning the legitimacy of its annual general assembly.
Umno Supreme Council member, Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, claimed that PPBM chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and its deputy president, his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, are certain to contest on a DAP ticket because Parliament will be dissolved in just a few weeks while the debacle over PPBM’s annual general assembly has yet to be resolved.
He said there has yet to be any concrete effort made by the PPBM leadership on resolving the issue, except by repeating their mantra that the Registrar of Societies is to blame.
“This is why Dr Mahathir must step forward and explain as to whether it is true that the party’s leadership is picking on the RoS on purpose as an excuse for them to contest under the DAP banner,” he said.
Last Friday, RoS director-general, Surayati Ibrahim, had stressed that PPBM had around 20 days to hand over information and documents related to its minutes of meetings at all levels, as well as its financial statements, to the RoS. Failure to do so, she said, could see the party deregistered under Section 14(5) of the Societies Act 1966.
With the new development, PPBM may have to contest GE14 under the banner of another party within Pakatan Harapan (PH).
At a PH meeting last month, the four parties in the pact had agreed that they would use a common logo in the upcoming election. This, said the pact, was decided as the RoS had yet to provide any answer on their application to register as a legitimate opposition coalition.
Mohd Puad said, Dr Mahathir and Mukhriz in reality have no confidence in campaigning under the PPBM logo, as the party does not have the necessary strength in its grassroots, especially among the Malay voters.
“This is proven when the party failed to hold its division and branch meetings. There were not enough people. That is why PPBM did not hold its annual general meeting. And it’s highly unlikely that they can do it in such a short period of time,” he said.
He claimed that in order to carve out a victory in GE14 and fulfill his ambition of becoming prime minister again, Dr Mahathir has set aside his 22 years of having ridiculed DAP for the sake of contesting under the rocket logo.