Mahathir: Umno members joining PPBM cannot contest for posts initially

Dr Mahathir Mohamad. (Bernama pic)

BANGKOK: Dr Mahathir Mohamad said PPBM welcomed any Umno member who is “disgusted” with the party to join Bersatu, but they will be barred from contesting in party elections at least for a certain period of time.

The PPBM chairman said this was because the party was formed mainly to get rid of corruption and it intended to stay corruption free.

“We hope people who are disgusted with Umno would eventually join us, but we cannot give them leading roles as leaders of Bersatu (PPBM), they have to stay for some time barred from contesting in party elections because we don’t want Bersatu to become like Umno, to become corrupt,” he said at a dialogue session with the Malaysian diaspora, here, today.

Dr Mahathir, who is also prime minister, said although PPBM was a fair copy of Umno in terms of membership, it had a different philosophy and ideas.

But he did not reject the idea of PPBM becoming like a new Umno. However, he said, it must stay away from the practice of the past Umno leadership led by its former president Najib Razak who, according to him, had gone astray from the purpose of its formation in 1946.

“So we cannot be like Umno now but we can be organised almost like Umno because the members (of PPBM) will be the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.