PAS move just a political gimmick, says Najib


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 26 Apr 2003

BY K. SUTHAKAR

MARANG: The PAS state government is engaging in a “political gimmick” (helah politik) by introducing a law to appoint up to four assemblymen among non-Muslims and women, said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. 

He said the party had resorted to the tactic as it was not confident that the people it wanted would be elected. 

“The move will only lower the dignity of the House as the membership must only comprise those duly elected by the people,” he said yesterday after opening the Marang Umno division annual delegates conference. 

The bill to appoint the assemblymen – who can speak but not allowed to vote – was passed at the State Assembly sitting on Thursday. 

In comparison, Najib said that Barisan Nasional was more sincere in ensuring representation of all races, including minorities. 

“We make sure they are elected by the people. In fact, a Chinese was appointed as a state executive councillor during Umno’s rule,” he said. 

Najib said Barisan had even amended the Constitution to give equal rights to women. 

In his speech, he said it was important that Barisan wrested back the state from PAS in the next general election as defeat would lower the spirit of Umno members. 

Since Umno stood a good chance of winning the state, he urged members to make sacrifices for the party instead of merely chanting slogans. 

“The party is not asking for money, only hard work and loyalty which should come without any condition,” he said. 

At the function, division chairman Datuk Muda Mamat presented 647 applications to join Umno, including from former PAS members, to Najib. 

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