Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has defended the presence of former Umno leaders who dominated Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) supreme leadership council announced today, saying their experience is very much needed.
According to the PPBM president, the party practises a non-selective and inclusive policy where anybody is free to join it, although some are doing so to make a statement of their disagreement with Umno.
“There are those who went on an exodus to a better party than Umno. We cannot deny that. We need the experience,” Muhyiddin told the media here.
“That’s why we take those with experience in a party to join us. Maybe we cannot run away from this, even to the grassroots, most of those who joined us were from Umno.”
Despite that, the PPBM president pointed to the younger members of the council that has made PPBM their first foray into politics as proof that the party can shed its image as an Umno offshoot, such as youth wing Armada chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
Besides Muhyiddin, other former Umno leaders in the party’s top echelon included ex-Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as deputy president and his father, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as chairman.
Sacked Umno women’s wing leaders Datuk Hamidah Osman and Anina Saadudin were also elected as vice-president and Srikandi women’s wing chief respectively.
Muhyiddin also said the party is open to former second finance minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah joining, should the latter decides to leave Umno following a police probe for allegedly breaking an oath of secrecy in the Parliament.
The former deputy prime minister claimed recruitment for the party has been successful, with nearly 100,000 registered members so far.
The party is also set to unveil its headquarters at the Yayasan Selangor building in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur soon.
PPBM was registered in September and is seeking to cooperate with Pakatan Harapan parties to take on the ruling Barisan Nasional in the next general election.
The party consists primarily of Umno leaders who either were sacked or resigned to join the new group.
Source : ZURAIRI AR@The Malay Mail Online