KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Members of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) will not join other component parties in the Pakatan Harapan alliance following its temporary disbandment, says party chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"They won't join any (parties) because they were our members… But, if we are legal, we will claim they are ours," he told reporters at a press conference in his office at Yayasan al-Bukhary on Friday (April 6).
The former prime minister said Pribumi members would instead contest as independent candidates in the coming polls, under a common logo used by Pakatan Harapan.
"If they say we are illegal, then we can't say we are from Pribumi. But the 52 seats still belong to us - not Pribumi, but the group that was formerly Pribumi," he said.
Pribumi is set to contest 52 seats, followed by PKR (51), DAP (35) and Parti Amanah Negara (27) in the coming polls.
Speculation is rife that component parties under Pakatan will use the PKR logo in the 14th General Election as the Opposition alliance has yet to receive approval from the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to register as a formal coalition.
The decision on a common logo will be announced at an opposition event in Pasir Gudang, Johor on Saturday.
"As Malaysians, Pribumi members have every right to contest in the polls. We can use any logo and we can stand as individuals. As ex-Pribumi members, we are citizens of this country and we have every right to contest in the elections," said Dr Mahathir.
"If there are any parties which allow us to contest under their names, we will do so as independent candidates," he said.
On Thursday, the RoS ordered PPBM to temporarily disband for 30 days as it had failed to fulfil the body's Feb 28 notice requesting for documents and details on the party.
This means that Pribumi will not be allowed to use its logo or conduct any party activities during its disbandment with immediate effect.
Pribumi now has 30 days to fulfil the RoS' request for more documents and file an appeal, failing which the party will be permanently de-registered.
Dr Mahathir also acknowledged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's announcement that Parliament will dissolve on Saturday.
The exact nomination and polling dates will be decided by the Election Commission and announced later.
The general election must be held within 60 days of Parliament's dissolution.