Showdown between Dr M and Muhyiddin likely in PPBM polls

Dr Mahathir Mohamad (right) is the chairman of PPBM, and Muhyiddin Yassin the president.

PETALING JAYA: PPBM is likely to see contests for the three top posts when it holds its maiden election in June since it is now divided by factions led by its chairman, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and its president, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

The current deputy president is Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir.

Mahathir, who was prime minister until two weeks ago, has indicated he would offer to retain his current position.

Under PPBM’s constitution, the chairman is the supreme leader of the party.

An inside source told FMT Muhyiddin was eyeing the chairman’s post to take control of the party and ensure its continued membership of the Perikatan Nasional coalition.

“Muhyiddin cannot afford to set up another party, which would further split the Malays,” the source added.

The election will indicate how the PPBM grassroots feel about the political turmoil of the past weeks.

Nominations for the key positions will be held on Monday and delegates from 189 divisions will pick their choices on April 18.

The election will be held at the party’s general assembly, scheduled for June 20.

Delegates will also elect three vice-presidents and 20 supreme council members.

PPBM won 13 parliamentary seats in the 14th general election and subsequently gained 13 more with the crossover of MPs from Umno. But it later lost the Tanjung Piai seat in a by-election.

Mukhriz (MP for Jerlun), Amiruddin Hamzah (Kubang Pasu), Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman (Muar) and Maszlee Malik (Simpang Renggam) are known to be in Mahathir’s faction.

Mohd Redzuan Mohd Yusof (Alor Gajah), Rina Harun (Titiwangsa), Shahruddin Ali (Sri Gading), Muslim Yahaya (Sungai Besar) and Eddin Syazlee Shith (Kuala Pilah) are supporters of Muhyiddin. They are ministers and deputy ministers.

Perak Menteri Besar Faizal Azumu Tak, who is the Tambun MP and Chenderiang assemblyman, is also aligned to Muhyiddin.