KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (Bersatu) proposal to welcome non-Malays into its fold is nothing remarkable as parties like Umno and PAS have been doing so for a long time, a senior party leader has said.
Supreme council member Wan Saiful Wan Jan said Umno and PAS formed Muafakat Nasional without anyone questioning the existence of non-Malay and non-Muslim members in both parties.
“Umno has opened up its membership to non-Malays and non-Muslims for a very long time. Many Umno members comprise non-Malays and non-Muslim Bumiputeras including non-Muslim and non-Malay Orang Asli.
“As for PAS, it has opened up its membership to these groups as well. In the past, they had the PAS Supporters’ Club, and now Dewan Himpunan Penyokong PAS as an official platform for such individuals.
“There are even non-Malay and non-Muslim election candidates. This represents Islamic openness. As long as one is loyal to the principles of struggle, then it is not an issue,” he was quoted as saying by Mingguan Malaysia.
On August 22, Bersatu President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin proposed a new chapter in the Malay-centric party that will accommodate non-Malay leaders and allow them to contribute and hold positions in the party.
On Muhyiddin’s proposal, Wan Saiful said the party had agreed to study the need for a better structure to allow non-Malay and non-Muslim members to involve themselves in the party’s activities without affecting the principles it upholds.
“Such matters exist in Umno and PAS. Therefore, Bersatu would like to do the same. There is nothing sensational about this issue,” he added.
“Most importantly, we continue to forge ahead towards unity so that political stability can return to the country and we can then focus on looking after the people,” he said.b