KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — The decision by former PKR members to join Bersatu and Perikatan Nasional (PN) under the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was a hard one, said former PKR Youth leader Dr Afif Bahardin today.
The Seberang Jaya state assemblyman said the decision was political for him personally, and that he made it with the betterment of the people and saving the country in mind.
Dr Afif resigned from his Penang exco position in March and now leads a civil society organisation linked to Datuk Seri Azmin Ali called Pemuda Negara.
“The decision to unite under the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was not an easy decision. The decision to join Perikatan Nasional was not an easy one.
“We had to not only take into account the sacrifices of many people, but also the country’s future and its survival. We had to think about many things, reflect and discuss them. But in the end, we had to make a decision.
“The decision of Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and our leadership to move forward and join Tan Sri Muhyiddin and Perikatan Nasional is more about saving race and country,” he said in his speech during the National Congress: Unite For Malaysia event at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) here today.
The national congress of 4,000 participants from four NGOs aligned with the PN government is to announce that Azmin’s PKR faction, who withdrew its support from PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in February, is officially joining Muhyiddin’s Bersatu.
Other than Azmin, this includes federal ministers Zuraida Kamaruddin, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar, Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, Deputy Minister Ali Biju and Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin as well as state assemblymen Hilman Idham, Dr Afif, Dr Daroyah Alwi and Haniza Talha.
Another MP, deputy minister and Segamat MP, Edmund Santhara, already applied to join Bersatu last month as did Lubok Antu MP Jugah Muyang.
Former PKR vice-president Baru Bian, who also left the party during the political turmoil, has joined the United Sarawak Party.
The supporters of the Azmin faction are spread across at least four NGOs: Nation of Women (NOW) led by former PKR Women’s chief Haniza Talha; Penggerak Komuniti Negara which is presided over by Zuraida; Wanita Muda Negara helmed by Nurainie Haziqah Shafii; and Pemuda Negara that is led by Dr Afif and Azmin’s political secretary Hilman Idham.
According to Dr Afif, Pemuda Negara now has 11,500 members in the country’s 222 parliamentary constituencies.
*Note: A previous edition of the story contained an error which has since been corrected.