PETALING JAYA: The split in PPBM between supporters of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and party president Muhyiddin Yassin will be resolved when party elections are held, Mahathir said today.
Speaking to reporters after attending a thanksgiving kenduri in Jitra today, he acknowledged that there was a division in the party.
“PPBM has split into two, with some members following the president (Muhyiddin) and some following the chairman (himself),” he was quoted as saying. “We are still one party but a part of the party has accepted Najib (former prime minister and Umno president Najib Razak).”
He maintained that he remained party chairman and rejected an announcement last week that Muhyiddin was assuming the role of acting chairman.
Mahathir said that he had been persuaded to return as chairman after he had announced last Saturday that he was resigning.
“Under the party constitution, there is only one position of chairman,” Mahathir said. “I am still the chairman. Muhyiddin cannot be the acting chairman. Why does he need to be the acting chairman when PPBM’s Supreme Council rejected my resignation and accepted me back in the post?”
PPBM is scheduled to hold its inaugural party elections on April 4.
Mahathir resigned as PPBM chairman on Feb 24 and stepped down from the prime minister’s post the same day.
On Feb 29, Muhyiddin said he would be acting chairman until party elections are held.
The party, founded by Mahathir in 2016, left the then ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition on Feb 24, causing the collapse of the PH government when Mahathir resigned as prime minister soon after.
Under Muhyiddin, PPBM has formed an alliance with Umno and PAS called Perikatan Nasional, with Muhyiddin being appointed prime minister.
Among those at today’s kenduri were Mahathir’s son Mukhriz, who is Kedah menteri besar and deputy president of PPBM; former deputy finance minister Amiruddin Hamzah; state assembly speaker Ahmad Kassim; Kedah PKR chairman Johari Abdul; and Kedah DAP chairman Tan Kok Yew.
Although PPBM has left Pakatan Harapan, state assembly members from PKR and DAP have announced they would continue to support the Mukhriz government.
Mukhriz said matters concerning the state government were under control through “kata sepakat” (mutual agreement).