PPBM Youth exco tells Syed Saddiq race-based politics still needed

PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman told a TV interview yesterday that he has always been Malaysian first but was proud of his race. (Youtube screengrab)

PETALING JAYA: PPBM Youth executive council member Muhammad Muzzammil Ismail today told his head, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, that race-based politics is still a necessity in the country.

“Political parties based on race are still relevant today, especially ahead of the 15th general election,” he said in a statement.

Muzzammil, who has previously questioned Syed Saddiq’s leadership of PPBM Youth, said the party faced a huge challenge in winning the confidence of the Malay community as a result of a widening trust deficit in Pakatan Harapan.

“From the start, the direction and strategy of the party’s president was to save the party from losing influence, especially among the Bumiputeras,” said Muzzammil.

Muzzammil Ismail

Muzzammil also told the PPBM Youth chief that he should not have been hesitant when answering the question,”Are you Malaysian first or Malay first?”

“We shouldn’t be shy or apologetic when people ask us this.”

Syed Saddiq was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan during an episode of Al Jazeera’s UpFront programme yesterday on the change of power from Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Muhyiddin Yassin.

One of the questions Mehdi posed to the former youth and sports minister, during the 10-minute interview yesterday was: “Do you consider yourself to be a Malay first?”

Syed Saddiq said he had always been Malaysian first but he was proud of his race.

Party chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as prime minister on Feb 24, and PPBM broke away from the Pakatan Harapan ruling coalition soon after, causing the collapse of the government.

PPBM has since formed an alliance with Umno and PAS called Perikatan Nasional, with PPBM president Muhyiddin being appointed prime minister.