From PKR defectors to Zuraida’s strong-men: Who’s who in the new pro-BN Parti Bangsa Malaysia?

From PKR defectors to Zuraida’s strong-men: Who’s who in the new pro-BN Parti Bangsa Malaysia?

The leadership of the party is full of former PKR members who had previously followed Zuraida and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali to defect following the so-called ‘Sheraton Move’. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — The newly-launched Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) recently announced its top leadership, and despite previous rumours, contained no Cabinet ministers in the current administration.

The party, who has pledged its support for Barisan Nasional (BN), was formerly known as the Sarawak Workers’ Party (SWP) and its name change was approved by the Registrar of Society in October last year, leading to its first emergency general meeting for office bearers on January 8.

Some insiders have told Malay Mail that the party will likely serve as a vehicle for several former PKR leaders led by Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin — who until now has denied her involvement, but the party itself boasts more than 50,000 members of a group she started called Penggerak Komuniti Negara (PKN), which is also chaired by her former political secretary Nor Hizwan Ahmad.

The leadership of the party is also full of former PKR members who had previously followed Zuraida and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali to defect following the so-called “Sheraton Move” which led to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

The party currently has two MPs and five state assemblymen.

1. President: Larry Sng Wei Shien

Sng — the son of prominent Sarawak businessman Sng Chee Hua — had been Pelagus state assemblyman when he was just 21 years old, holding the post for two terms under the then Barisan Nasional (BN)-affiliated Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak.

He then joined Parti Rakyat Sarawak in 2007 and was appointed deputy secretary-general before being removed from the party, despite retaining his post as the youngest assistant minister in the state government under former Sarawak chief minister Tun Taib Mahmud.

Sng then joined his father’s then newly-created SWP in 2013 before resigning in 2016 as the new chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satim did not appoint him in the state cabinet.

He then jumped ship yet again to join PKR following the 2018 election which saw BN’s massive lost and him winning the Julau federal seat.

Sng was subsequently appointed the Sarawak PKR chief since his predecessor Baru Bian left the party after the Sheraton Move in February 2020.

In February 2021, Sng himself left PKR to become an independent representative, but supported then prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Perikatan Nasional (PN).

2. Deputy President 1: Haniza Mohamed Talha

The architecture graduate and former MalaysiaToday writer had joined PKR since its inception before winning the Taman Medan state seat and was appointed as the first ever female deputy Speaker in the Selangor state assembly in 2008.

She defended her seat in 2013 before changing to the Lembah Jaya state seat and managed to defeat its incumbent from PAS, Khasim Abdul Aziz, in 2018 and assumed the Selangor state exco and Selangor PKR women chief posts.

Haniza was fired by PKR on June 28, 2020 along with several other members.

Before that, she was suspended from the party from April 6 in 2020 for allegedly meeting Azmin and Zuraida at a hotel on February 24 the same year.

3. Deputy President 2: Wong Judat

Wong is a former state assemblyman of the Meluan state seat in Sarawak and a long-time ally of Sng.

He held the seat from 2001 to 2016, winning first as an independent before joining the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party in 2003, climbing the ranks until he was appointed as the vice president.

However, he quit after internal fighting in 2012 to join SWP before keeping a fairly low profile.

4. Senior Vice-President: Steven Choong Shiau Yoon

The Malaysia Institute of Accountants chairman joined PKR in 2007 and became a prominent member establishing the Tebrau and Ayer Hitam divisions in Johor.

He then overturned a 1,700-majority defeat in 2013 to 37,000-majority win against then MCA vice-president Datuk Hou Kok Chung in 2018.

He left PKR on February 28, 2021 on the same date as Sng after several months of speculation.

5. Vice-President 1: Rahimah Majid

The former Sabah PKR Women chief was a candidate in 2013 for Kudat federal seat.

She was suspended by the party on March 25, 2020 following criticism against president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and was subsequently sacked on June 20 that year.

6. Vice-President 2: Dr Satishkumar Govindaraju

Not much is known about this cardiologist’s involvement in politics.

7. Vice-President 3: Muhammad Saiful Bahri Sahari

The former PKR Youth executive council member from Johor Baru was appointed as chairman of the Johor chapter of Yayasan Komuniti Negara (YKN), a foundation linked to PKN, after he quit the party in 2020.

8. Women’s Wing Chief: Dr Daroyah Alwi

The former dentist served as the Semesta state assemblyman and state exco since 2013 as well as being appointed as the deputy state Speaker under Datuk Seri Amiruddin Shari’s leadership in 2018.

Although she was not part of the Sheraton Move, she resigned from her position in PKR on June 13, 2020 bringing along 48 members from the Kapar division and the Selangor chapter members with her announcing that she had “lost faith” in the leadership of Anwar.

She is currently the chairman for the Malaysia Rubber Council (MRC) — the first woman to hold the post — an agency under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities headed by Zuraida.

9. Youth Wing Chief: Muhammad Na’im Brundage

The 26-year-old was appointed as Federal Territory PKR Youth Chief in 2018 and won the Kepong division chief position after the 2018 general election, and had been involved with the party through Invoke, an analytics company lead by former PKR top leader Rafizi Ramli.

He left the party after the Sheraton Move to openly support Azmin and Zuraida, as well as criticising Anwar’s leadership.

10. Secretary-General: Nor Hizwan Ahmad

Nor Hizwan had been PKR’s candidate for the Muar federal seat against then incumbent Datuk Razali Ibrahim.

He has been the most familiar face beside Zuraida, serving as her political secretary since 2018 before resigning last October.

Nor Hizwan was then appointed as MRC chief executive officer under Zuraida’s purview, and continues to serve as both PKN and YKN chairman.

11. Treasurer-General: Paul Yong Choo Kiong

The former political secretary to Perak DAP leader Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham joined politics in 2004, and won in his first ever election for Tronoh state seat in 2013.

He defended his seat in 2018 and was appointed as a state executive council member before being sacked following the state government changes after the Sheraton Move.

He has been embroiled in a rape case against his domestic help since 2019 and the trial is still ongoing. He was sacked from the party in July 2020.

Other names elected into the PBM leadership include supreme council members: Ab. Aziz Ab Kadir, Alan Oh Teik Choon, Lee Chin Cheh, Zakaria Abdul Rahim, Dr Kaniappan, Levenia Mawas, Engga Unchat, Datuk Chua Lian Chye, Datuk Roger Tan Seng Huat, Malim Nawar state assemblyman Leong Cheok Keng, Suhada Abdul Rahim, Ong Chin Wen, Albakri Salim, Ahmad Khairul and Ramana K Naidu.

Besides Nor Hizwan and Paul Yong, those appointed into the leadership are: deputy secretary-general Jenny Chiew, information chief Zakaria Abdul Hamid, and supreme council member Muniraa Abu Bakar.

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