KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is said to have 35 signed statutory declarations (SD) from MPs ahead of an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to determine who will be the next prime minister.
The Star reported an unnamed source with inside knowledge of Bersatu affairs as saying the SDs are from the party’s 31 MPs and four independents who are aligned to it.
Among the four independent lawmakers were Julau MP Larry Sng and Kuala Langat MP Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar. Both were formerly with PKR but left and pledged support for Perikatan Nasional (PN) when it was the government.
According to the source, Bersatu made a bloc decision last night, pledging to support the candidate chosen by Muhyiddin and the party leadership.
“We signed the statutory declarations as advised by Hamzah, who was sent by Muhyiddin to urge all the MPs to work en bloc as only then can we get a strong number behind whoever the prime minister candidate may be,” the anonymous source was quoted as saying.
Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin is Bersatu secretary-general.
“We agreed to support Muhyiddin as our number one candidate as he is our president and chair of the Perikatan Nasional coalition, and we feel he was forced out unfairly by those who were too greedy for power and their selfish needs.
“However our second option is Umno’s Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as he has stood by us, and was also the deputy prime minister for Perikatan government,” the same source reportedly added.
However, The Star said it is unknown if the SDs are all in support of Muhyiddin who resigned as prime minister yesterday but has been appointed in a caretaker position for now.
According to the source, Hamzah emphasised that Bersatu MPs must unite, warning that if they didn’t, they would lose out to other parties and political alliances, including Islamist PAS and Gabungan Parti Sarawak.
“We are a relatively new party and we have a few factions which must come together. Many of us are resigned to the fact that we may have to forgo the prime minister’s post, but if we do not stick together, we may not even be a part of the Perikatan government.
“The aim is to keep Perikatan intact and not let it crumble before the next general election,” the source was quoted saying.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is scheduled to meet the leaders of different political parties today, in order to determine which MP has the highest possibility of commanding the majority of the Dewan Rakyat.