Dr M insists he’s still chairman as he appears at PPBM HQ

Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters at the PPBM office in Petaling Jaya today.

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today maintained that he is still the chairman of PPBM, a day after he was informed that his membership had been terminated because of his move to back the opposition bloc.

“I am the chairman, this is my office. I had not come to this office due to Covid-19 restrictions,” he told reporters at the PPBM headquarters where he made a surprise appearance just before the party’s secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin was supposed to hold a press conference explaining the termination letters to Mahathir and four others.

“So now I thought I’d come here. Also because I have work to do here, and to meet some of the staff who have run away,” said Mahathir, who was accompanied by his son Mukhriz Mahathir, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Maszlee Malik, all of whom had their memberships terminated last night.

Asked if he would take legal action or lodge a complaint with the Registrar of Societies (RoS), Mahathir said he was worried that its decision would not favour him.

“The new normal is quite different from the old normal,” he said, while making remarks believed to be in reference to the Sessions Court’s decision to allow a discharge not amounting to an acquittal to Riza Aziz, the stepson of former prime minister Najib Razak.

“Now we have to be very careful when referring to people in the government,” he added.

Mahathir, who chose to sit with the opposition during the May 18 Dewan Rakyat sitting, denied that he had acted against the party constitution.

“I can sit anywhere in Parliament. Where you sit is not cause for sacking.”

He said the May 18 sitting of Parliament had denied MPs the chance to speak up.

“That sitting denies the essence of democracy, in that the people who represent the voters must be allowed to speak. But this sitting was very funny because it was confined to just hearing the King’s speech.

“Our right has been taken away from us, the MPs elected by the people. This is wrong on the part of the government.

“Giving Covid-19 as an excuse is not valid because at that time, people were already allowed to move around and meet.”

At the press conference, Mahathir also announced that as chairman, he was appointing Sazmi Miah as the party’s new working secretary, replacing Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya.

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