During the last Barisan Nasional administration before the 14th General Election, Hamzah was the Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Minister while Mas Ermieyati was Deputy Tourism Minister. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has defended his move to accept former UMNO leaders to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), although it is seen as quite unacceptable by component parties of Pakatan Harapan. Dr Mahathir, who is also Bersatu chairman, said however the party would first of all evaluate their applications before accepting them into the party. “There are good people in UMNO, and there are also bad ones. The bad ones, we won’t accept. I was also an UMNO member (previously). Welcoming them to PPBM’s fold at the Perdana Leadership Foundation, Mahathir said the newly accepted members had been “vetted”. “It doesn’t mean they are seeking protection. We will not protect any wrongdoing,” the prime minister said. He said the seven MPs would remain ordinary members without any position. “We may seek their views or allow them to campaign for PPBM and Pakatan Harapan,” he added.