KUALA LUMPUR – After months of being plagued by registration issues, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) finally has a chance to put an end to the matter and focus on the next general election.

PPBM plans to do so by conducting its first ever annual assembly in just a few hours’ time, months after having its legality and constitution questioned by critics as well as the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

PPBM supreme council member Akramsyah Sanusi said that the annual general meeting (AGM) would be an opportunity for the party to put to rest the “rumours” regarding the legality of the party and turn their focus on the preparation of the next general elections instead.

PPBM is holding its first ever AGM after the RoS previously said that it faces reregistration if it does not hold an AGM for the year 2017.

“We expect and strong and consistent message from our leadership at central and also grassroots level — we want to ensure that the AGM delivers a message of hope for Malaysians as a whole,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.

“I think the matter (issues with ROS) can be put to rest. We have every confidence that after this, the issue will no longer come up. We have been very transparent with ROS,” the PPBM leader said.

Akramsyah also said that the completion of the AGM should pave way for the registration of Pakatan Harapan as a formal coalition, as PPBM and DAP’s status were previously cited as an issue in the RoS delaying the registration — and both parties now having done as instructed by the RoS to clear up party legality issues.

DAP conducted a second re-election of its 2012 Central Executive Committee (CEC) last month after the RoS refused to recognise the previous re-election held back in 2013.

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) analyst Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani told Malay Mail that PPBM needs to formulate “several strategies” as to how it will face the general elections.

He also said that the AGM would probably be an opportunity to rally the members and also show that the party is united.

“They will have to discuss the party registration issues, beyond that, they need to show how strong they are in preparing for GE14. They need to make sure they are able to capitalise of protest votes against the government,” he told Malay Mail.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) political analyst Faisal Hazis said that PPBM would attempt to close ranks among its members and show their strength heading into the next elections.

However, he said that the party needs to echo the reform agenda, something which he said the party has not done strongly enough in the past.

“We are yet to see a strong reform agenda from the PPBM— they need to echo that narrative. (Tun Dr) Mahathir himself needs to reaffirm the party commitment to this reform,” Faisal said, noting that there remains doubts among former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s critics, reformists and even previous opposition voters as to whether PPBM will be able to carry out reforms.

Dr Mahathir, 92, is the chairman and founder of the party which is just over a year old, and Faisal said the party also needs to start preparing itself to go beyond Dr Mahathir and party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“They need to go beyond them to be sustainable, otherwise they will only be around for one or two election cycles,” he said.

PPBM’s AGM will take place at the Ideal Convention Centre at Shah Alam today Close to 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the AGM.

– Malay Mail