KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) taking in former United Malays National Organisation (Umno) elected representatives is understandable because Bersatu also wants to survive politically.
Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, was responding to news that six former Umno MPs are now Berstau ordinary members but this latest development is not without criticisms from Bersatu’s partners in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) fold, with several politicians saying that Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad has reneged on his election promises in not taking in any Umno member.
Masing said in politics there is no foe or friend.
“For elected representatives or MPs either in PH or BN (Barisan Nasional) to go against their promises for survival is nothing new in Malaysia. I have watched past video clips of what had been said by DAP and PKR leaders against Tun Dr Mahathir, one would imagine they are sworn enemies for life. But no. They are now the best of friends and staunch political allies.
“Therefore, what is the difference in Tun Dr Mahathir accepting Umno defectors to Bersatu? This is to ensure his party’s survival. Just don’t make a habit of making U-turn far too often. In short, don’t tell lie to attract voters,” said Masing.
The six defectors are Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (Larut MP), Datuk Rosol Wahid (Hulu Terengganu MP), Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad (Mersing MP), Datuk Shabudin Yahaya (Tasik Gelugor MP), Datuk Mohammad Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (Sabak Bernam MP) and Datuk Seri Ikhmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Tanah Merah MP).
Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in Bernama report that Bersatu accepted the applications of these MPs following efforts to revive Umno – the BN backbone party – which was strengthened through collaboration with PAS.
He said Bersatu also championed the Malay and Bumiputera cause because they still felt unsafe if they did not have a certain number of delegates in the PH coalition and ruling party.