FORMER Kedah PAS chief Mahfuz Omar will stay put in the Islamist party although his colleague, Amiruddin Hamzah, has joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
“I have my own role to play. This must be understood by Pakatan Harapan,” Mahfuz told The Malaysian Insight today.
Earlier in the evening, Amiruddin announced in a press conference in Alor Star that he had joined Bersatu.
The 55-year-old state lawmaker for Anak Bukit said he decided to join Bersatu after PAS’ state leaders told him “it was impossible” for the party to work with Pakatan.
Mahfuz said that Amiruddin informed him about his decision on Thursday when they met at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport.
“He told me he was joining Bersatu when he was dropping me off at my house,” said Mahfuz, who said he supported Amiruddin’s decision.
Amiruddin is among 17 candidates who lost in the party elections during the PAS Muktamar in 2015.
While most of his colleagues left to form Amanah, Amiruddin decided to stay but quit all his party posts. The former Kedah exco, however, was retained as the opposition leader in the Kedah state assembly.
After the announcement this evening, Mahfuz, Amiruddin and Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir will attend a ceramah in Kedah.
Mahfuz said he wants to remain in PAS so that he can continue to engage its members on the need to back Pakatan while still being PAS members.
But the popular speaker said Amiruddin’s departure was a signal to Kedah’s voters and other PAS members that they always had a choice to join any Pakatan party.
“Before this, there were other leaders, like Dr Ismail Salleh who joined Amanah, Kamarudin Jaffar who joined PKR and Zulhazmi Sharif who joined DAP.
“Today, Amiruddin joined Bersatu.”
Mahfuz said that Amiruddin’s inclusion in the Pakatan line-up augured well for the coalition.
“Pakatan will have a former menteri besar (Mukhriz) and former excos, such as Dr Ismail and Fakhrurazi from Amanah, and now, Amiruddin.”