KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — Amid backlash from their political allies after announcing its intention to accept non-Bumiputera members, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin today denied this was indicative of the party straying from its original beliefs.
The Larut MP in a statement went on to say that Bersatu welcomed all Malaysians looking to join the party, and how it is mulling the formation of an Associate Members’ Board to allow such members to play more significant roles within the party.
Hamzah explained the procedures concerning the inclusion of new members, Bumiputera or not, are accommodated by the party’s constitution, in particular pointing out Article 7 (Membership), Article 8 (Members’ Registration), and Article 9 (Members’ Responsibilities and Rights).
“Therefore, statements by some quarters claiming Bersatu has strayed from its original goals by allowing non-Bumiputera members is inaccurate.
“As a political party with foresight and one that is inclusive, Bersatu recognises the contributions and roles of its Associate Members and continues to empower their involvement from time to time,” he said in a statement today.
This came after party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had proposed forming a new chapter in the Malay native party to accommodate and allow non-Malay leaders to contribute and hold positions in the party.
The party currently allows non-Malays to join the party as associate members but they cannot hold leadership positions.
Bersatu recently agreed to join Muafakat Nasional along with Umno and PAS, and is in the process of registering the Perikatan Nasional coalition with PAS and two Sabah parties SAPP and STAR.