KUALA LUMPUR: Umno should ease off its attacks on Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and instead give a chance to the recently formed party, says its pro-tem president Muhyiddin Yassin.
Muhyiddin was responding to a demand by Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor that the Registrar of Societies stop the party from using the short-form of “Bersatu”. Tengku Adnan said the word was commonly used in national slogans, and its use by the party could mislead the public.
“It is his (Tengku Adnan) prerogative to criticise,” said Muhyiddin. “This is a democracy, people have the right to say anything they want to say. But the less they (Umno) say about this party, the better. Give us a chance and I think Malaysians want to see that chance,” he said.
Speaking after launching a blood donation drive by the Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Charity Golf Foundation at Mid Valley today, the former deputy prime minister took a sarcastic swipe at Umno, saying that they should not be afraid of Bersatu, considering that Bersatu was merely a “mosquito party” given its recent formation.
“Our party is so common. Umno shouldn’t be scared of us. We are like a mosquito party. We don’t have branches and millions of members like them (Umno). We don’t even have money. This is not a clear threat to them.”
Muhyiddin also questioned if the barrage of attacks aimed at Bersatu was a sign of Umno’s insecurity. “Does it mean Umno feels the birth of a new party is a real threat? They just said it is a splinter party, some say the splinter (party) would not last, so why are they concerned?”
“What is the big thing about a name anyway?” he asked
On Tuesday, Muhyiddin applied for Bersatu to be formally registered.
Mooted by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the new party is aimed primarily at Bumiputera citizens, including Sabah and Sarawak natives. Other citizens may be associate members without the right to vote or contest party positions.