Bersatu to shed Umno past with major constitutional changes

Bersatu leaders (from left) Muhyiddin Yassin, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Mukhriz Mahathir are preparing to make sweeping changes to the party constitution that is based on that of their former party Umno. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 14, 2019.

THE party constitution needs sweeping changes if Bersatu is to grow in strength, said its deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir.

This is because Bersatu modelled its constitution on Umno’s, when the splinter party was formed in September 2016, he told a recent meeting of party delegates from the central region in Shah Alam.

“We only changed the front page and name. The rest of the constitution came from Umno.

“But after three years, we have found several shortcomings in the constitution… weaknesses that need to be amended,” said Mukhriz who is the Kedah menteri besar.

A briefing was held to inform delegates of the reasons for amending the party constitution ahead of an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on July 20. 

The Shah Alam meeting is the first of five roadshows to explain the amendments to party members and get their feedback.

An important amendment is to empower the disciplinary committee which can only make recommendations currently, Mukhriz said.

“In Umno, the disciplinary board can investigate and recommend actions to the central committee. Any action against a member can only be instituted after the central committee has found the person guilty.

“But we feel that Bersatu’s disciplinary committee needs more power on its own and should decide on disciplinary issues without referring them to the central committee,” said Mukhriz.

The member who is penalised may still appeal to the appeals board which decision shall be final, he said.

Bersatu secretary-general Marzuki Yahya also told the Selangor and Federal Territories delegates to expect nearly a complete change.

“We are amending almost all of the clauses in the constitution,” said Marzuki, who is deputy foreign affairs minister.

Among the amendments include clauses 21 and 22 that deal with the Women and Youth wings, and the suspension of state and divisional committees. 

Also proposed are changes to the powers and responsibility of the central committee.

Bersatu was founded by Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a means to topple the Najib Razak administration and Barisan Nasional government. – July 15, 2019.

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