KUALA LUMPUR: There are no racial elements behind the formation of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), as its main goal is to “save Malaysia”, says Umno rebel Muhyiddin Yassin.
“I don’t talk about the Malays; I don’t talk about the Bumiputera. I’m talking about the country.
“The party was formed because Malaysians are concerned with the current state of the country today. It is no longer about (Prime Minister) Najib Razak, but it’s about saving the country.
“So the issue of racism does not arise any more. Stop,” he said to reporters when met after launching a blood donation drive organized by the Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Charity Golf Foundation at Mid Valley today.
Muhyiddin also gave an assurance that he does not discriminate against people of other communities. Fighting for all Malaysians was at the forefront of Bersatu’s policies, he said. “I’m not a racist. I fight for all Malaysians.”
The recent formation of Parti Pribumi Bersatu has drawn flak from various quarters including DAP’s youth wing, which stated on Thursday that they would not work with any party that practices racist policies.
The new party admits non-Bumiputera citizens as associate members who may not vote or compete for positions in the party.
Bumiputera citizens, including natives of Sabah and Sarawak, are eligible for full membership and voting rights.
Muhyiddin, who is to be Bersatu’s president, said the party was more than just its Bumiputera-only membership, as it touched on national issues such as economy, education, human rights and good governance.
“We are also against corruption and abuse of power. I think whatever Malaysians expected of a political party, we spelled it out clearly in the constitution.”
Despite public criticism, the former deputy prime minister maintained that the party had an inclusive policy on membership, pointing out that “it means a lot to invite a (non-Bumiputera) like you to sit with us”.
He said: “Not being able to contest is one thing. A lot of people don’t want to be active in politics today because they only want to participate. So, I think this is the best avenue for Malaysians.”
The new party was mooted by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. An application for registration was submitted to the Registrar of Societies two days ago.