PKR’s Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad has brushed off the defection of a handful of Gombak PKR members to Bersatu as a small minority, saying PKR has grown substantially since last year’s Sheraton Move that triggered the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan federal government.
“This is a small minority. The party membership has grown by leaps and bounds since the Sheraton Move.
“All party members who subscribe to our multiracial and reformist ideals will stay loyal.
“This applies especially to the non-Malay membership who cannot relate to Bersatu,” the Setiawangsa MP told Malaysiakini.
“They have taken the right step in joining Bersatu and Perikatan Nasional.
“We welcome the participation of Dave Lee and his compatriots to strengthen the work of campaigning for the people in the Gombak Parliamentary constituency.
“Hopefully the service to the community will continue to be mobilised in an intact and progressive manner,” said Hilman, who is the Gombak Setia state assemblyperson.
PKR’s Wangsa Maju MP Tan Yee Kew was not impressed by Hilman’s announcement.
“Who is Dave Lee? I have not heard of him before.
“There are many opportunists in politics and the earlier they leave the party, the better. Now Gombak PKR can focus on rebuilding the party organisation there,” she said.
Bersatu, which was initially formed by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and current prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, as a party for Malay rights, opened its doors to other races last year, with ex-PKR MP Edmund Santhara Kumar joining as an associate member.
Two months ago, at its third annual general assembly, Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin announced that the party unanimously approved a proposal to set up a new wing for its non-Bumiputera associate members.
Azmin is a three-term incumbent MP in Gombak, having first been elected in 2008. However, his support in the constituency is seen as shaky, ever since he defected from PKR to Bersatu.
Last July, Azmin was accused of turning his back on Umno and PAS in Selangor after holding development coordination meetings at the state and district levels without both the parties.
This resulted in Gombak Umno division chief Megat Zulkarnain Omardin and Gombak PAS leader Salehuddin Mohd Nasir saying they would only cooperate with each other based on the Muafakat Nasional bilateral agreement. MKINI
MALAY MAIL / MKINI