KEDAH state assembly opposition leader Amiruddin Hamzah says he decided to join Bersatu after being told by PAS that it was “impossible” to work with Pakatan Harapan.
Amiruddin announced during a press conference at 5.30pm this evening in Alor Star that he was quitting PAS to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
The Anak Bukit assemblyman, who quit as PAS Kuala Kedah division chief last year, said he joined Bersatu so that he could help end Barisan Nasional’s uninterrupted hold on power at the federal level.
But he said he could not do that with PAS.
Amiruddin said he had recently gone to the Kedah PAS leadership to tell them it needed to side with Pakatan Harapan as a main member or as a friendly party but was turned down.
“The response from them was that it would be impossible,” Amiruddin said during the press conference that was aired live on Facebook.
Elaborating on his reason for joining Bersatu, the former Kedah exco said he was left with no choice as he wanted to end BN rule at the federal and state levels.
“As we head into the 14th general election, I find that the sentiment on the ground is voters want change, whether at the state or federal level.
“Kedah has had two changes but there have been no changes at the federal level yet,” the former PAS central committee member said.
Amiruddin said he was also intringued by Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s assessment that this was due to a divided opposition.
“He said that it is not that BN is strong but that the opposition is divided and hence, too weak to beat BN.”
The 55-year-old engineer said the past two elections in 2008 and 2013 had shown that the opposition could win at the federal level in one-on-one fights.
“In the last elections, Pakatan Rakyat even won the popular vote and should have been the federal government had it not been for the gerrymandering. As such, due to the many issues caused by BN, I have decided to join Bersatu and Pakatan for GE14.”
On his role as opposition leader in the state, Amiruddin said PAS had the most seats in the opposition and should decide on the next leader.
“I’m only opposition Leader when the assembly is in session. Going by what is happening now, I don’t think there will be any more sittings before the next election is held.”
Bersatu deputy president and Kedah chief Mukhriz Mahathir welcomed Amiruddin’s move and said it was a good development for Bersatu and Pakatan.
“This is a good boost for the party as he is experienced and has led PAS at the state and national levels,” said Mukhriz.
Amiruddin was among PAS members who had previously pushed the party to stay with opposition pact Pakatan.
He had also rejected an offer to take over as PAS Kedah chief to replace Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar, who lost out during the 2015-2017 party elections.
Mahfuz was similarly vocal against the party’s decision to leave Pakatan.