KUALA LUMPUR: Mohamed Azmin Ali says he believes the opening up of PPBM leadership to non-Malays is the way forward for the party.
“I think the younger generation would like to see all Malaysians actively involved in political parties and the direction of the country,” he said at a press conference after the Kongres Negara 2020.
“We should not allow only one race to dictate. We are all Malaysians,” said Azmin, who was formally accepted as a PPBM member today five months after leaving PKR.
His remarks came hours after PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin had said the party may amend its constitution to allow non-Malays to hold leadership positions.
The party currently allows non-Malays to join the party as associate members but they cannot hold leadership positions.
Azmin was asked if he felt that the Malay grassroots were ready to accept a Malay ruling party with non-Malay leaders, given that Umno founder Onn Jaafar had faced backlash when he pushed for non-Malays to be accepted as equal members.
Azmin said he was glad that under Muhyiddin’s leadership the matter was being discussed at the PPBM supreme council.
Former PKR non-Malay leaders were very committed to the reform agenda under Muhyiddin, as prime minister, and now need a platform, said Azmin, who was PKR deputy president.
“Coming to an election we need to accommodate our leaders to be part of Perikatan Nasional.”
Later, when speaking to reporters, Azmin said there was a need to move on from race and religion.
He said when PPBM was founded its purpose was to help the Malays and he felt this was the right decision then. Muhyiddin, he said, sees the need to move forward.
On seat allocations for the next general election, Azmin said these will be discussed and decisions will be made through consensus.
What is certain is that all 222 parliamentary seats will be contested against Pakatan Harapan.
He added Perikatan Nasional was in the midst of being registered and that Muhyiddin will make an announcement on the matter soon.
Azmin said through the NGOs linked to the former PKR leaders, they had some 200,000 people who could join PPBM.
He added that he will not be running for office in PPBM.