Empower division heads without government contracts, says analyst

Political analyst Kamarul Zaman Yusoff says PPBM must tackle the issue of division heads receiving government contracts to prevent the party from becoming another Umno.

PETALING JAYA: A political analyst has sounded the alarm over the response by PPBM members to vice-president Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s recent suggestion that party chieftains be given government contracts.

Kamarul Zaman Yusoff told FMT the standing ovation received by Rashid showed that the same mentality remained.

“Rashid may have been heavily criticised by PPBM and other civil societies, but the fact is he received a standing ovation.

“This shows strong grassroots support (for such ideas),” he said.

He advised division heads to pick up a business skill instead of relying on government contracts or projects, highlighting the need to balance good governance with ensuring the survival of division chiefs.

This included training in various sectors or upskilling business talents to bring in additional income.

“Empower division leaders without government contracts so that they don’t harp on government contracts,” he said, noting that PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself had guaranteed that such practices would not take place in the party.

Fellow Pakatan Harapan (PH) component party DAP and civil society Bersih 2.0 had also criticised the idea, he said.

He urged PPBM to tackle the matter to prevent the party from morphing into another Umno.

Activist Haris Ibrahim agreed that Rashid’s speech at the PPBM annual general assembly showed that giving government contracts had been an acceptable culture in Umno.

“It takes us back to a period under Umno,” the lawyer added. “Not only under Najib Razak, but even way back under Mahathir too.”

He reminded the government that the people had voted PH into power as they wanted a stop to such practices. He also urged the people to continue acting as a watchdog for such cultures, even after Barisan Nasional’s election defeat.

He said this was especially crucial as the government seemed to be making U-turns on issues such as the repeal of the Prevention of Crime Act (Amendment) and Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002.