PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be unable to challenge PPBM’s decision to terminate his membership because of a law that Mahathir himself caused to be amended at the height of an Umno power struggle in the late 1980s, Najib Razak said today.
Najib, a former Umno president, said Mahathir had caused Section 18c of the Societies Act 1966 to be amended, allowing him to form Umno (BARU) after Umno had been ordered to be deregistered.
The amendment stipulated that a party’s decision is final and could not be challenged in court.
Umno was declared illegal after the result of the party elections in 1987, when Mahathir’s presidency was challenged by his rival Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Najib said Mahathir was making an excuse when he said he did not want to drag his membership problem to court because he did not trust the judiciary under the Perikatan Nasional government.
Mahathir’s excuse was a lie, he said. “The seventh PM (Mahathir) cannot challenge the decision at court due to the past actions of the fourth PM (also Mahathir). That is correct,” he said in a Facebook post referring to Mahathir’s two separate tenures as prime minister.
Mahathir’s membership in PPBM was terminated by the party on Thursday, together with four other MPs who had sat with opposition members at the Dewan Rakyat sitting of May 18.
The other four were Mahathir’s son Mukhriz, Amiruddin Hamzah, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Maszlee Malik.
Mahathir has insisted he remains the party’s chairman. However, PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin has declared himself as acting chairman as Mahathir had resigned the chairmanship on Feb 24.
Najib said that should Mahathir bring the membership issue to court, his membership would be automatically terminated, as stipulated in the law and the party’s constitution.
“And this is what Mahathir did not reveal,” Najib said. “If the seventh PM wants to blame anyone, he should blame the fourth PM. Don’t give the excuse that you do not trust the courts.”
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