Johor ex-MB Osman Sapian kicked out of Bersatu, state chapter says still pending confirmation

(MMO) – Embattled former Johor mentri besar Datuk Osman Sapian is said to be without a party after he was stripped off his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) membership today.

His party membership status was automatically stripped by Bersatu’s disciplinary board following the 69-year-old seasoned politician’s alleged campaigning for an independent candidate aligned with Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) in the recent Slim by-election.

News portal Malaysiakini reported that Bersatu disciplinary board chairman Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas had said that the Kempas assemblyman did not need to be present before the board for them to initiate such action.

“According to Bersatu’s party constitution under Clause 10.2.3, Datuk Osman has automatically and immediately lost his membership in the party.

“There is no need for him to be present in front of the party’s disciplinary board. The Bersatu secretary-general can publicly announce that Datuk Osman is no longer a member of Bersatu because of his own actions,” he told Malaysiakini.

Megat Najmuddin said this when asked about whether Osman had been called by the disciplinary board and the action taken following the latter’s action which allegedly assisted the Independent candidate in the recent Slim by-election.

Meanwhile, Johor Bersatu chief Mazlan Bujang said he was awaiting further confirmation on the matter before he can comment on the news report to state Osman’s status in the party.

“For the time being, I will not announce anything yet pending official confirmation from Bersatu,” he said when contacted by Malay Mail.

Meanwhile, Johor Legislative Assembly Speaker Suhaizan Kaiat said he will await an official letter from Bersatu’s secretary general on Osman’s membership status.

“Yes, I am aware of the recent developments and we will follow procedure starting with Bersatu’s official letter to the State Legislative Assembly.

“Following that, Osman will be considered an independent [state] lawmaker and he has 14 days to inform us in writing on his support for either the government block or the Opposition block.

“This will allow us to arrange the sitting position in the state legislative assembly,” said Suhaizan when contacted by Malay Mail on the latest developments.

As for now, Suhaizan said the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government is still in place pending the official announcement by both Bersatu and Osman’s stand.

“We do not have a hung state government yet pending the official announcement,” he said, adding that Osman’s support as an independent state assemblyman was the next step after they receive the revocation of his party’s membership.

At present, Johor is led by PN under the leadership of its Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad who is from Umno. His administration holds a simple majority of 29 seats, while the state PH coalition has 27 seats, pending Osman’s status.

The Johor assembly has 56 seats. Both Umno and DAP have 14 each. The remaining seats are held by Bersatu (12), Amanah (nine), PKR (four), MIC (two) and PAS (one).

Last week, Osman’s loyalty to Bersatu was called into question after allegations surfaced of his supposed impending exit to join Pejuang after he was publicly seen with several of the new party’s leaders during the Slim by-election campaign.

Following that, a video went viral last Saturday showing Osman, who is also the Ayer Hitam Bersatu division chief, supposedly speaking on the campaign trail in support of Independent candidate Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi.

In the video, Osman is said to have admitted being the Kempas state assemblyman on the Bersatu ticket and that he was still a member of the party but alleged that Bersatu had strayed from its original struggles.

It was also reported that Johor Bersatu will leave it to the party leadership to deal with Osman according to party rules.