PETALING JAYA: Umno is now in “panic” over the threat from Dr Mahathir Mohamad-founded party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), says lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla.
“Previously, Umno leaders such as lawmaker Shahrir Abdul Samad and former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi had shot down the idea of a new party by Mahathir, former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Mukhriz Mahathir, and stated they will not be shaken by the new party because it cannot compete with Umno.
“However, when Bersatu submitted its application for registration at the Registrar of Societies (RoS) on Tuesday, Umno seems worried.
“It wants to claim the ‘exclusive’ right to the word ‘Bersatu’,” he said on Facebook today, responding to Umno Secretary-General Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s remarks today.
In a press conference today, Tengku Adnan had urged the RoS not to approve the acronym “Bersatu” used by the party, claiming the word could be confusing as it is a commonly used word which appears in many slogans like “Bersatu Bersetia Berkhidmat” and “Bersatu Malaysia Maju”.
Haniff, who is Mahathir’s lawyer, also said Umno thinks “Bersatu” (unite) belongs to them.
“We believe that such weak reasoning by Tengku Adnan will not be entertained by RoS.”
Haniff said Umno was now worried to the point that they were “begging” RoS to not approve the name.
On Tuesday, Muhyiddin submitted the application to register Bersatu at the RoS headquarters in Putrajaya.
The former deputy prime minister, who was dropped at last year’s Cabinet reshuffle, said the party’s membership will be opened to all Malays, Orang Asli and Bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak.
Muhyiddin said non-Malays were welcome to join as associate members but could not stand for elections.