PETALING JAYA: Umno Supreme Council member Ahmad Shabery Cheek says PPBM’s push for more non-Bumiputera members into the party could be due to former PKR leaders joining the party.
In a dig at former PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali and “his friends from PKR”, Shabery said this group may want PPBM to be like PKR.
PPBM opening its membership to people of all races would make it difficult for any unification with Umno to come about, he said.
“It would be easier for PPBM to team up with PKR as both parties have the same membership model. Maybe this was the reason why Azmin and his friends joined PPBM. They missed PKR,” he said in a statement today.
Shabery added that while PPBM wanted to be a multiracial party, Umno will always remain a Malay-based party.
“In the past, reunification between Semangat 46 (an Umno offshoot) and Umno was easy because both parties were only open to Malay and Bumiputera members,” he said.
“Similarly with PKR, which was formed after Parti Keadilan and Parti Rakyat Malaysia came together because they both had a similar composition of multi-racial members.”
PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin announced last week that the party would open a new chapter for non-Malay members, who would then be able to hold leadership positions. The party currently allows non-Malays to join the party as associate members but they cannot hold leadership positions.
Political analysts have suggested that the move could be a step towards PPBM widening its voter base to compete against Umno and PKR.