Xavier Jayakumar, Edmund Santhara join PBM: Zuraida
SHAH ALAM – Kuala Langat MP Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar and Segamat MP Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara Kumar have joined Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM), its president-designate Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said today.
This brings the new party’s count of MPs to six.
Two more lawmakers are also set to join PBM soon, but Zuraida did not name them.
“The party is now joined today by two MPs, Segamat MP Edmund Santhara and Kuala Langat MP Dr Xavier Jayakumar, (and) two more who will be joining us,” she told PBM delegates during the party’s inaugural annual general assembly at the Ideal Convention Centre, here, today.
Santhara, previously a PKR lawmaker, joined Bersatu following the Sheraton Move in February 2020 and was subsequently appointed as chief of the party’s associate members’ wing.
It was reported that he had quit Bersatu in July this year although he never confirmed the news himself.
Zuraida, asked during a press conference later today if Santhara was still a Bersatu member, said that his membership there would be automatically revoked following her announcement of his PBM membership.
Dr Xavier, meanwhile, was also a former PKR lawmaker before he turned independent and subsequently threw his support behind the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
According to Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the PKR secretary-general at the time, Dr Xavier allegedly switched camps to avoid possible prosecution for corruption. He was investigated after an associate, M.A. Tinagaran, was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in 2021.
Dr Xavier was water, land and natural resources minister in the Pakatan Harapan government, while Santhara was deputy federal territories minister in the PN government, and is presently deputy tourism, arts and culture minister.
With Santhara and Dr Xavier in PBM, the party now has six MPs, namely Zuraida (Ampang), party president Larry Sng (Julau), Steven Choong (Tebrau) and Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi (Lahad Datu), all of whom also defected from other parties.
PBM’s current assemblymen, also gained through party-hopping, are A. Sivasubramaniam (Buntong), Paul Yong Choo Kiong (Tronoh), Leong Cheok Keng (Malim Nawar), Haniza Mohamed Talha (Lembah Jaya) and Daroyah Alwi (Sementa).
Prior to today’s announcement, Zuraida had announced that the party is expecting three more MPs and two state assemblymen to join their ranks.
She said PBM would then have a total of 14 MPs and assemblymen when the 15th general election is called.
The identity of the supposed third MP has not yet been ascertained or revealed.
– The Vibes, October 1, 2022