Focus on party struggle, not personal agenda, Mahathir tells Bersatu members

08 May 2019 / 22:45 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leadership to change the attitude of focusing too much on personal agenda than the party struggle.

Mahathir, who is also Bersatu chairman, said the practice should be changed, and cited an example of some leaders not wanting to see an increase in party membership for fear of their position being in jeopardy.

“It is true that our membership is not very big. We find that some practices are bad. For example, if you are chosen to become a division chief, then you don’t want people to join Bersatu because if they join they may displace you.

“So better to have a small Bersatu than a big Bersatu. So, we have less number of members and because we have less number of members, when there is a by-election, we don’t have enough people to work. We have to get people from other places,“ he said at a press conference in conjunction with the first anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government administration.

Mahathir was asked to comment on the level of satisfaction towards Bersatu which is regarded as a young party.

He stressed that Bersatu members should regard the party as their prime concern rather than any position or monetary reward.

He also recalled Umno’s struggles in its early days of establishment when there were members who were willing to sacrifice their position or property to see the continuity of the party but had no personal agenda to seize any position.

“I have watched this over 70 years. When we first started Umno, people donated their own money. They didn’t ask for anything, they didn’t ask to become a chief or whatever. In fact, there were so many people. When I suggested that they should become candidates, they said, ‘no, give it to others, I am not qualified’. But that kind of thing does not happen now.

“Now, even if you only passed primary one, you think you are qualified to become the prime minister. That is your right. So this thing affects not only Bersatu but also other Malay parties,“ he said.

In another development, Mahathir also pointed out that any woman with capability is eligible to be appointed to any position.

Speaking of the appointment of Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat as the Chief Justice, Mahathir said the PH administration was founded on capability, not selecting a person based on gender, colour, religion and so on.

“Apparently, not many people have condemned the appointment of the new CJ (Chief Justice),“ he said.

Within a year of the PH administration, the government has been seen to be fulfilling the election promises to position more women as decision-makers and not just fill up the quota.

This was proven with the appointment of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the deputy prime minister, making her the first woman in the country to be appointed to the post.

Apart from Wan Azizah, the PH leadership also has four female ministers, namely Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun; Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamarudin; Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok and Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin.

There are also for female deputy ministers, namely Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh; Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching; Deputy Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh. — Bernama

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