SRI Gading member of parliament and Deputy Works Minister Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh was revealed as an addition to the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad faction of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) last night.
This was announced by the faction’s secretary general Marzuki Yahya on his Facebook page, hinting that the Pakatan Harapan Plus coalition’s return to power was imminent.
“Much appreciation and gratitude to YB Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh for choosing to remain with the principles of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (BERSATU) struggle for the sake of saving the party on the basis of transparency and rejection of kleptocratic practices in the leadership,” Marzuki wrote in the caption that accompanied the poster revealing Shahruddin’s decision.
It is yet official, but on paper the last count of parliament seats following the Dewan Rakyat sitting on May 18 drew a hung parliament with the ruling Perikatan Nasional under Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the opposition bloc led by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim tied at 111 seats from the 222 seats.
This could mean that Muhyiddin’s grip on a majority, already in question following his rise to power as a consequence of a political coup on March 1, could already be lost.
The rumour mill has been rife with numbers being thrown about from a 129-seat Pakatan Harapan ready to force a counter coup, to a number as low as 114.
Pakatan Harapan, Warisan and Dr Mahathir have remained tight-lipped, despite hinting at a takeover before the scheduled parliament sitting next month.
Fearing a no confidence vote proposed by Dr Mahathir, Muhyiddin’s government had already postponed the Dewan Rakyat sitting to May 18 and then triggered dispute after limiting it to just the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech without question and answers session, nor any debate.
Apart from Shahruddin, Marzuki also announced Datuk Sazmi Miah as the executive secretary, after sacking Suhaimi Yahya, the executive secretary from the Muhyiddin camp, who issued letters informing Dr Mahathir and four other MPs of their sacking last week, which the quintet are challenging.
This brings to six (and counting) the number of Bersatu MPs returning to chairman Dr Mahathir’s camp following his “sacking” by Muhyiddin.
Shahruddin rejoins Jerlun MP Mukhriz Mahathir, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Simpang Renggam MP Dr Maszlee Malik and Kubang Pasu MP Amiruddin Hamzah as the Dr Mahathir camp works to also retake the party from the embattled Muhyiddin, with a motion for his sacking as president promised by Marzuki.