PETALING JAYA: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) is merely paying lip service to those clamouring for multiracial parties as it limits non-Bumiputeras to be associate members despite claiming to be inclusive.
Speaking to FMT, MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman Ti Lian Ker said it was ironic that Bersatu claimed to be a party for all yet prevented non-Bumiputeras from being equal members.
The former Pahang assemblyman also labelled it a “joke and an insult to thinking, progressive Malaysians who hoped to water down race and religious trappings in the country’s political sphere”.
“If anything, Bersatu seems to be in line with Muhyiddin Yassin’s infamous quote about ‘being Malay first’.”
He was alluding to the then deputy prime minister’s declaration in 2010 that he was Malay first and Malaysian second, which many of his detractors said clashed with the 1Malaysia concept which espouses racial unity.
Ti said this went to show that the “new politics” – politics free from race and religious trappings – had failed.
“There is a lack of sincerity in practice. This is just another political game playing on numbers.”
He also predicted that the non-Bumiputeras will be a sideshow limited to playing second fiddle or a secondary role, adding it was “sad and pathetic” that Malaysia had reached a level where leaders unashamedly played the race card and discriminated against others.
“If this is not racist, I wonder what is?”
Ti, who is also MCA Central Committee member, went on to ask the Opposition, particularly PKR and DAP, if it would cooperate with Bersatu.
“We shall see whether DAP or PKR will embrace a race-based party since they have in the past condemned such organisations. Then again, they have no problems working with Amanah , a religion-based party.”
Bersatu, which was mooted by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was formally registered yesterday at the Putrajaya headquarters of the Registrar of Societies (RoS) by Muhyiddin, who is also its pro-tem president. It is now waiting for approval, expected within three months.
The party, Muhyiddin said, was open to Malaysians of all races, although non-Bumiputera citizens, who will be admitted as associate members, would not be able to vote or compete for positions in the party.