PUTRAJAYA, Sept 3 — As many as 70 per cent of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s grassroots members are ready to join the Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, according to its protem president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
Mukhriz, who was formerly Bersatu deputy president, said he was told that many of his former party’s grassroots had highlighted dissatisfactions due to several decisions made by the supreme council after former chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad left.
“Seventy per cent are no longer with Bersatu,” he told reporters after attending a Pejuang press conference at Perdana Leadership Doundation here.
Mukhriz said one of the problems highlighted was Bersatu’s party constitutional amendment to allow non-Malays to hold ranks within the party.
He said he himself as the deputy president had brought a motion in the party’s annual general meeting on November last year to appoint non-Malays to special posts in the party such as in the committees for economics and education, but was met with negative reaction from the delegates.
“Some delegates even shouted dissatisfaction for that. So can you imagine if the Bersatu president announces they will be opening the party to the non-Malays,” he said.
On August 22, Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the party’s plan to form a new wing to enable non-Bumiputera affiliate members to hold party positions.
The prime minister also said a committee headed by Tan Sri Rais Yatim has been set up to study the matter and present its findings to the party’s supreme council and if the proposal gets the nod, Bersatu will hold an extraordinary general meeting to amend the party constitution.
Mukhriz also said there is a possibility that the registration of Pejuang will be rejected by the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
“If rejected, it means the government is not brave enough to face Pejuang, but RoS has informed that so far there is no problem,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Bersatu secretary general Datuk Seri Marzuki Yahya said Pejuang is expected to have more than 200,000 members with Bersatu’s grassroot joining the party.
He said currently, Bersatu has a membership of around 400,000 people.
“100,000 of them are members from Sabah, Sarawak. So the remaining 300,000 and 70 per cent of the grassroots came out from Bersatu and are with Pejuang,” he said.