HOURS after Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (BERSATU) controversial sacking of founding members Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Mukhriz Mahathir, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Amiruddin Hamzah and Dr Maszlee Malik, the battle seems far from subsided.

From right: Dr Maszlee, Mukhriz, Dr Mahathir, Syed Saddiq, Amiruddin

The quintet released a joint statement disputing the validity of the clauses used to justify their sacking, that it was issued by executive secretary Suhaimi Yahya, that they were not accorded due justice and called out party president and Prime Minister for hypocrisy in playing politics as the nation faced the Covid 19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis.

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir is Bersatu chairman and Langkawi member of parliament, former Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz its deputy president and Jerlun MP, Syed Saddiq its youth chief and Muar MP. Amiruddin is Kubang Pasu member of parliament, while former Education Minister Maszlee is Simpang Renggam MP.

In their statement, the quintet also suggested the sacking carried out by Muhyiddin’s camp was due to the impending threats posed to them in the impending party elections, while on the sidelines the rumour mill has been rife about a Mahathir-led Pakatan Harapan coalition securing support of 129 MPs to overthrow Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional coalition.

Muhyiddin had assumed the post of Prime Minister following a political coup that saw him announce Bersatu’s departure from Pakatan Harapan in February, along with 10 rogue MPs from KEADILAN to join forces with Barisan Nasional, PAS and GPS in forming the Perikatan Nasional loose coalition.

The reasons for the sackings, as stated by Suhaimi in his letters was the breaches of Articles 10.2.2 and 10.2.3 of the party’s consitution, when the quintet chose to sit with the opposition bloc led by KEADILAN president Anwar Ibrahim during the May 18 Dewan Rakyat sitting.

However, Muhriz revealed, Article 10.2.2 states a membership is automatically void should the member declare their exit from the party, while Article 10.2.3 states the same occurs when the member joins or becomes part of other political parties in the country.

“Such explanations are superficial and it is illogical to state that we had left the party when we were only acting within the law and our rights under the Federal Constitution as elected members of parliament,” the statement read.

Following that statement, Bersatu secretary general Marzuki Yahya, who himself disputes his sacking as invalid after Muhyiddin was reported to have replaced him with current Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin, issued a letter relieving Suhaimi of his duties as executive secretary for acting without locus standii in carrying out duties under the office of the secretary general.

Marzuki pointed out Article 8.11 of the party’s constitution, which states all matters related to the management of membership register fall under the jurisdiction of the secretary general, adding that Article 16.6.3 authorised the secretary general to organise the party headquarters and Article 16.6.5 which states the secretary general is authorised to organise matters related to the membership affairs and membership roll.

Then came the turn of ARMADA information chief Ulya Husamudin, who issued a statement calling the sackings as invalid and unconstitutional.

Ulya stated that the the executive secretary did not have the locus standii to issue such letters, as even the position of executive secretary was not accorded under the party’s own constitution.

He added that the letters were also not handed to the recipients but instead first aired by media, which went against procedures.

Ulya echoed the disputed breaches of Articles 10.2.2 and 10.2.3, adding that the sackings also did not go through the disciplinary board as required under 10.2.5 of the party’s constitution.

He stated the youth wings official stand to oppose the sackings.