SHAH ALAM – Supporters from all over the country used their own money to attend Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) launch tonight and did not receive any sponsorship, its deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said.

Mukhriz noted that members arrived from as far as Perlis and Johor’s Pengerang, adding that the party leadership was excited to learn that they had come on buses, trains, cars and even motorcycle convoys.

“And all came without sponsorship, without any allocations from our leaders. All on their own initiative and expenditure,” he said at PPBM’s official launch here.

“Congratulations and well done, we say! This is the fighting spirit that we want from all our party members!” he added.

A rumour spread on social media today that PKR had instructed the mobilisation of its members for tonight’s launch with a token fee of RM100 each. PKR has since debunked the alleged letter from the PKR secretary-general’s office as false.

The spirited crowd, who mostly wore the red of PPBM in Stadium Malawati here, was estimated to be around 3,000. The crowd later swelled to around 5,000 people.

They cheered wildly when it came to PPBM chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s turn to deliver his speech, repeatedly crying “Hidup Tun!” (Long live Tun!).

Pakatan Harapan party leaders as well as those from PAS were seen in attendance.

PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who also spoke at the launch of the party, acknowledged party members’ activities including door-to-door visits, member recruitment and registration drives, youth engagement sessions, organisation of ceramah programmes and even the installation of the party flags throughout the country.

“All this is done voluntarily without any incentive or payment. Many even use their own money to pay for party activities,” he said.

Stressing that PPBM is not a “splinter party” of any political party that fights for the interests of individuals, Muhyiddin said the members are here for a cause.

“We have to save this nation! This is the reason why we are here! Saving the nation!” he declared, urging the public to exercise their power to vote in the federal Opposition that he said could offer a better future for Malaysia.

PPBM youth wing Armada chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the goal of achieving half a million membership within a year was “achievable”, adding that the current figure was now in the six-digits.

As for the percentage of PPBM members that were in the youth category, he told Malay Mail Online: “I think the number is increased…In fact, I can say it is at least 50 per cent now. That was last two months ago, was 41 per cent, and the numbers kept on increasing for those below the age of 35, will be the first time voting, I think that’s very unique.”

He said he was unsure of PPBM membership’s race composition, but said the PPBM youth wing strove for diversity as shown in its recently-announced line-up of leaders.

“But what I can say is that in my exco line-up, there is one non-Bumi and we look forward to appointing more as time passes by, we need more talented non-Bumis to come forward, especially the youth line-up.

“As the head of the youth, I will make sure that it is diverse and as representative as possible, and that’s why we represent different communities — those from rural areas, those from the OKU community, mat motor, mat kereta, to ensure all communities are well-represented, where we not only speak up for them, but we also give them a voice to speak up for themselves,” he said.

Last September, Dr Mahathir said PPBM was aiming to recruit at least one million members.

– Malay Mail