All Malaysians should be accorded equal treatment, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail proclaimed today.
The Opposition leader deftly dodged the bullet when asked to comment on Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s restricted membership policy for non-Bumiputera citizens, saying the question should be posed to the new party’s leaders directly.
“That is a question that should be posed to them. We believe in equal status for everyone. That is their policy,” she told a press conference at the PKR headquarters here.
Dr Wan Azizah said that her husband, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was also criticised in the past for speaking against the New Economic Policy (NEP) and calling for equal opportunities.
“Malaysians want a way in which everyone will be treated equally in the eyes of the law,” she said.
Former Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin submitted formal papers to register Parti Pribumi two days ago.
The new Umno splinter party has Muhyiddin as its president, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its chairman and the latter’s son and former Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as vice-president of the pro-tem committee.
Membership with full voting rights is limited to the Bumiputera community, which make up over 60 per cent of Malaysia’s population. However, non-Bumiputera can join as associate members, which means they will not be allowed to vote or elected into office but can be appointed to certain party positions.
PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli had described it as “strange” to have a Bumiputera-only party in the Pakatan Harapan opposition coalition.
DAP Youth vocally criticised the decision and said it would not work with parties that have “racist” policies.
Parti Pribumi is expected to work with other Pakatan Harapan parties to form a grand coalition heading into the 14th general elections.
Pakatan’s three founding parties, DAP, PKR, and Amanah, all have open membership policies without restrictions.