PETALING JAYA: A deputy minister from PPBM who was rumoured to have defected to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s faction today called on all sides to close ranks.
Shahruddin Md Salleh said he hoped current president Muhyiddin Yassin and Mahathir, who had his membership terminated last week along with four PPBM MPs for siding with the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH), could mend ties and reunite the party.
The deputy works minister said he had met with Mahathir after the decision to terminate the former leader’s membership.
“I asked Tun, is it true you joined the opposition? ‘Never,’ he said. Tun denied it.”
Shahruddin added that he would remain in PPBM and the Perikatan Nasional (PN) alliance.
“I do not want to see PPBM become weak because we are split and fighting. I also do not want to see PPBM dead and forgotten,” he said, adding that he loved his party.
Acknowledging that many had joined PPBM because of Mahathir, he added however that the party takes precedence over individuals.
“I want to see a PPBM that is strong and solid. My love for PPBM surpasses my love for Tun and Tan Sri (Muhyiddin).”
On rumours that he had defected, he said he would do so if it could strengthen PPBM.
“If I have to leave my friends in PN and return to PH with an assurance that PPBM will remain strong and survive, then I am also ready to do so.”
He also said there would be questions on what was at stake for PPBM in the 15th general election.
“I am the Sri Gading MP. Is it PN or PH which will easily give way to a PPBM candidate to contest Sri Gading in GE15?
“That too is my answer to the main question. Is it safer for PPBM to be in PN or PH?”
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