AFTER Umno’s fall from power in the May 9 general elections, its splinter party, Bersatu, is making great strides with its chairman as prime minister.
Bersatu Supreme Council member Marzuki Yahya said the two-year-old party had been attracting a lot of interest, getting some 1,000 membership applications daily.
“Membership applications have been increasing every day, especially the online applications.
“Our headquarters said they get some 1,000 applications nationwide every day,” he said at the Penang Bersatu Hari Raya open house in Sungai Dua, Tasek Gelugor last night.
Marzuki, who is Penang Bersatu chief, said more people were interested to join Bersatu in the state.
“We now have around 10,000 members and 198 branches in the state. I will announce the updated number of members by September 1, when we have our state Bersatu meeting.”
The increased interest in Bersatu, he said, came as many Umno members were leaving the old party.
“It is a sign of change, which is good for us as we move towards the next general election.
“Bersatu will continue the Malay struggle, and we will ensure Malays progress without corruption, unlike in the past.”
Many in Bersatu are previously from Umno, including its founding leaders – chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is the prime minister; and president Muhyiddin Yassin, who is home minister.
Marzuki, who was also an Umno man in the past, said the old party was no longer relevant, and Bersatu welcomed Umno members to join the new ruling party.
“We will take in those who were regular party members. But we will have to vet through those with leadership positions in Umno.
“The presidential council will make the final decision as to whether Bersatu will accept them,” he said.
Following Umno’s dismal performance in the general election, several elected representatives and prominent members quit the party.
Among them were Bagan Serai MP Noor Azmi Ghazali, Bukit Gantang MP Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abu Fasal, Masjid Tanah MP and former Puteri Umno chief Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Tambun Tulang assemblyman Ismail Kassim, and former minister Syed Hamid Albar.
Late last month, 10 Rembau and Rasah Umno branch leaders and former branch leaders in Negri Sembilan quit the party and pledged support to the PH government.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT